Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador
Over the course of their fellowship, each Kiva Fellows class gleans a better understanding of innerworkings of microfinance and how a microfinance institution (MFI) can tip the scales of success. We begin to glimpse behind the scenes costs of Kiva to our Field Partners and to comprehend the reasoning behind “high” interest rates across the entire field of microfinance. We’re let in on the secrets to success which keep an organization running and financially viable for five years, and we learn about innovative development of programs- be they microfinance or donkey-shares- in a niche market. Over the course of our fellowships, we obtain these invaluable and instructive lessons piecemeal, and together can contribute to the conversation on a whole. Thus, as one class of fellows departs and another begins, this week our fellows share our insights with you!
Isabukuru Nziza, ACB! A Kiva Field Partner in Rwanda Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary
Country: Rwanda / Fellow: Kathrin Gerner, KF15 & KF16
As Kathrin begins her first week of work with Kiva Field Partner Amasezerano Community Bank (ACB), ACB is also celebrating their fifth year anniversary as an organization. Kathrin demonstrates that ACB’s name, meanning promise, or, “more precisely, covenant” truly explicates their “commitment to serving and empowering Rwandan people.”
Of Chinese Proverbs and Gambian Donkeys
Country: Senegal / Fellow: Tim Young, KF15
Tim introduces us to the strange and unfamiliar world of donkey-shares at the Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT). Tim discusses the innovative development of the project, its parallels to microfinance, and the strides these donkeys have made in the area.
Cost of Kiva
Country: Nicaragua/ Fellow: Casey Cline, KF15 & KF16
Most of us know that Kiva’s 137 Field Partners receive interest-free loans from you, the lenders. But these loans aren’t cost free to the field partner, and Casey explains just what the costs of a Kiva partnership are.
The Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns
Country: Cambodia / Fellow: David Weber, KF16
As Dave gets to work in Cambodia, he gets down to brass tacks on the question of the seemingly high interest rates common in all of microfinance. Dave elucidates the issue by reminding us of one of the most basic rules of economics, and helps us to understand that: it’s really not that complicated after all!
* * *
Updates from the past month:
Loan Sharks, Snapshots + “the Country with a Smile”
Cooking Classes, Autarky + Social Performance
Motorcycles, Ramadan + A Dollar a Day
Working Animals, Green Microfinance + The Ends of the Earth
Poverty Assessments, Bush Taxis + Meeting “My” Borrower
* * *
Plus pictures from the past week: