Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

GHAPE (Grounded and Holistic Approach for People’s Empowerment) representative conducts Basic Needs Test interview in Bafut, Cameroon

Last week the Fellows Blog gave us glimpses into life on the ground for Kiva fellows, Kiva borrowers, and that unique moment when those lives are brought together by a Kiva loan! Whether riding in Daniel’s bush taxi on the way to work in South Africa, exploring Bafut and crossing the threshold into borrowers’ homes with Faith in Cameroon, or sharing a meal with Megan and ‘her’ borrower Graciela in the market in Ecuador, these posts illustrate the world of actors brought together by Kiva.

Bafut by Foot
Country: Cameroon / Fellow: Faith Garlington, KF15

Faith takes Bafut by foot and observes GHAPE’s Basic Needs Test, a tool employed to identify borrowers with the highest need. Throughout Faith’s long day and through these tests, GHAPE offers a little ashia (Cameroon Pidgin for “encouragement”) to all.

Video Journal: The Most Exciting Thing to Do in Richards Bay, South Africa
Country: South Africa / Fellow: Daniel Jung

If you’ve been doubting your ability to successfully take a bush taxi in Richard’s Bay, South Africa, you can breathe easy once again: Daniel Jung shares his handy video guide to riding bush taxis during his usual morning commute.

Meeting “My” Borrower
Country: Ecuador / Fellow: Megan Bond, KF15

Few Kiva lenders have the opportunity to meet ‘their’ borrowers. Megan Bond, however, sets out to meet Graciela and enjoy the fruits of her investment: a delicious meal in a market comedor in Ecuador, and a connection that transcends a $25 loan.

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Updates from the past month:

Externalities, New Faces + Loans that Change Lives
Dangerous Streets, New Vocabulary + A Senegalese Spring
Zulu Weddings, More Country-Specific Microfinance + Fighting Crime
Roads, Remittances + the “Little Paris” of Togo

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Plus more pictures (and videos!) from the past week:

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Megan Bond (KF15) and Graciela, Ecuador


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Prior to working with Kiva, Kate lived in Quito, Ecuador working in environmental management as a consultant for USAID implementing partners in the global south. After earning her B.A. in Political Economy, Postcolonial History, and Development from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in January 2010, she pursued a practice-based understanding of effective tools in development through work with New York based social change organizations and grassroots nonprofit organizations in Guatemala. Kate worked previously with Kiva as a Kiva Fellow in Ecuador and Peru, which fomented her commitment to microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation.
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