Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF15, Togo

A traditional Zulu hat (by Daniel Jung, South Africa)

Learn about the tradition of Zulu weddings in South Africa. Find out how Kiva’s partners adapt the concept of microfinance to fit their country-specific needs: from loans targeting borrowers affected by emigration in Ecuador, over a preference for group loans in El Salvador, to lending coupled with various training programs in Rwanda. Finish off your weekly reading by learning about crime-fighting Kivans in Nicaragua.

Zulu Weddings
Country: South Africa / Fellow: Daniel Jung (KF15)

Daniel tells us about Zulu weddings and explains how borrowers earn income by making mats, clothes, and jewelry required for the traditional ceremony.

Migration and Microloans
Country: Ecuador / Fellow: Kate Bennett (KF15)

Kate uses the example of “five dudes from New Jersey building a spa” to illustrate how Fundación Alternativa helps Ecuadorians stay in Ecuador by targeting borrowers affected by emigration.

Communal banks? Why not just an individual loan?
Country: El Salvador / Fellow: John Gwillim (KF15)

John is intrigued by Fondo Esperanza’s preference for group loans and does some research to find out more.

More Than Just Money
Country: Rwanda / Fellow: Carolyn Nold (KF15)

Carolyn shows us how Urwego Opportunity Bank empowers borrowers by providing training in household financial, business, and health management.

Fighting Crime…..Kiva Style
Country: Nicaragua / Fellow: Jason Jones (KF15)

Drawing from personal experience, Jason tells us about crime in Nicaragua and how Kiva lenders help fight it one loan at a time.

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Updates from the past month:
Roads, Remittances + the “Little Paris” of Togo
New Partners, Country-Specific Microfinance + Stories of a Kiva Fellowship
Mosquito Nets, Rock Climbing + Clearing the Air
Instability, Trust + A New Home
Unsung Heroes, Community Alliances + and Mission Statements Made Reality
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Plus more pictures from the past week:

Zulu Traditional Weaving

South Africa (by Daniel Jung)

Ecuador (by Kate Bennett)

El Salvador (by John Gwillim)

Rwanda (by Carolyn Nold)

Nicaragua (by Jason Jones)


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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.
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