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Update from the Field: Expanding the Reach of Microfinance, Downsizing Development + Why We Kiva

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

Kiva Fellows in East Africa

This week, you have no fewer than 14 new articles to choose from on the Kiva fellows blog: Let the fellows take you along on borrower visits across the world. Learn how Kiva field partners expand the reach of microfinance in Rwanda, fill the microfinance donut hole in Sierra Leone and improve social performance in Uganda. Find out what poverty is like in urban Tajikistan and rural Burkina Faso. Get inspired by one of the creative ways to bring renewable energy to the developing world in the form of a soccer ball. And finally, watch a video of “Why We Kiva” to get a glimpse of why Kiva fellows jump at the opportunity to be thrown half way around the world to work with Kiva’s many local field partners.

Girlie’s Peanut Butter: Borrower Verification in the Philippines
Country: Philippines / Fellow: Jill Hall (KF16)

As Jill completes here borrower verifications, she meets the lady who makes peanut butter.

Going the Distance: Expanding the Reach of Microfinance in Rwanda
Country: Rwanda / Fellow: Whitney Webb (KF16)

Whitney takes a look at the creative ways Urwego Opportunity Bank uses to reach the far-flung areas of Rwanda.

The Donut Hole Conundrum + Mamoud’s Story
Country: Sierra Leone / Fellow: Tejal Desai (KF16)

Tejal learns about the small enterprise loan, a loan product that is targeted at people that are financially overqualified for microcredit but too poor to receive a bank loan.

In Sickness and in Health: An MFI’s commitment to its clients in times of need
Country: El Salvador / Fellow: Andrea Ramirez (KF16)

Andrea explains how Fundacion Campo came up with a plan to help residents in areas flooded by the recent rain falls in El Salvador.

Pride & Poverty: A Photo Essay of Kiva Borrowers in Georgia
Country: Georgia / Fellow: DJ Forza (KF16)

DJ shares impressions of her borrower visits in Georgia.

More Than a Simple Find/Replace Operation: Changing CREDIT to Kredit
Country: Cambodia / Fellow: Dave Weber (KF16)

Dave explores why CREDIT is undergoing a name and logo change.

Downsizing Development: How a Soccer Ball Could Change the World
Country: Kenya / Fellow: Lauren Barra (KF16)

Lauren comes across a soccer ball that might help bring renewable energy to the developing world.

Microfinance by Land or by Sea
Country: Peru / Fellow: Kate Bennett (KF16)

Kate spends a week at the beach, but instead of working on her tan, she visits borrowers with Kiva field partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren.

This Is Urban Poverty in Tajikistan
Country: Tajikistan / Fellow: Chris Paci (KF16)

Chris experiences first-hand what urban poverty is like in Tajikistan.

The Second Bottom Line and BRAC Uganda’s Gold
Country: Uganda / Fellow: Andrew Huelsenbeck (KF16)

Andrew takes a look at BRAC Uganda’s dedication to social performance.

Mysteries, Geoglyphs + too-good-to-be-true Kiva Borrowers
Country: Peru / Fellow: Kate Bennett (KF16)

Kate wonders if a full loan repayment on the first repayment date might be too good to be true.

La Réalité de L’Afrique
Country: Burkina Faso / Fellow: Alison Moomey (KF16)

Alison gets a wake-up call to the realities of life in rural Burkina Faso after spending a weekend in a village without electricity or running water.

Video Blog: “Why We Kiva” – Kiva Fellows Around the World
Country: Bolivia / Fellow: Mariela Cedeño (KF16)

Mariela gives you a glimpse of why Kiva fellows jump at the opportunity to be thrown half way around the world to work with Kiva’s many local field partners.

Updates from the past month:
Green Loans, Dark Alleys + On-the-Ground Footage of it All
Kiva-style Microfinance, Reggaeton + a Journey though the Commercial Jungle
Loan Use, Agriculture Loans + Stuff Kiva Fellows Like
Starting Capital, Development Levels + Adventurous Borrower Visits
Going Pilot to Active, Meeting Borrowers + Technology and Social Performance

Plus more pictures from the past week:

Philippines (by Jill Hall)

Rwanda (by Whitney Webb)

Sierra Leone (by Tejal Desai)

El Salvador (by Andrea Ramirez)

Georgia (by DJ Forza)

Kenya (by Lauren Barra)

Peru (by Kate Bennett)

Soviet-era apartment block in Tajikistan

Tajikistan (by Chris Paci)

Peru (by Kate Bennett)

Burkina Faso (by Allison Moomey)

About the author

Kathrin Gerner

As the Field Support Specialist for Francophone Africa, Kathrin works with Kiva partners to make sure they get the most out of working with Kiva, and to ensure that Kiva responds effectively to partners' changing needs. Kathrin previously served as a Kiva Fellow Togo and Rwanda and holds a B.S. in International Trade & Finance. After working at Deloitte as a Senior Consultant for four years, she decided to leave the corporate world to spend a year exploring several countries in East Asia and Africa. Her journey has now led her to Kigali, Rwanda, where she is based when she is not visiting Kiva partners in Francophone Africa. Kathrin is fluent in German and French and she is currently working on her Kinyarwanda.