Update from the Field: Personal Connections, Supply and Demand + A Culinary Excursion

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF15, Togo

Personal connections: Kiva borrower, Muhammad, in Sierra Leone looking at the 38 global lenders who funded his loan (by Eric Rindal)

As the 14th class passes the baton to the 15th class, the Kiva fellows are sharing their final thoughts and first impressions. Be inspired by the personal connections Kiva creates between lenders and borrowers in Nepal and Sierra Leone. Find out how a phenomenal harvest can prevent farmers in Nicaragua from repaying their loans. Discover the creative ways of assessing credit worthiness used in Uganda and around the globe. Sample local customs and cuisine, while reading about the Day of the Child in Mexico and taking a culinary excursion in Liberia. Lastly, share the experiences of Kiva fellows across three continents in Colombia, Ghana and Ukraine.

Farewell from the Field
Country: Nepal / Fellow: Claudine Emeott (KF14)

Claudine shares a thank you note she wrote to lenders on behalf of BPV Patan borrowers in Nepal.

Kids Get Their Day
Country: Mexico / Fellow: John Farmer (KF14)

April 30th is the Day of the Child in Mexico. John takes this opportunity to shine some light on the many problems children face and how microfinance may help provide a better future for some of them.

Microlending Behind the Scenes: How MFIs Judge Credit Worthiness
Country: Uganda / Fellow: Nila Uthayakumar (KF14)

With their diverse customer base, microfinance institutions must be creative when assessing credit worthiness. Nila illustrates several methods used in individual and solidarity group lending.

Kiva Farmers: A Tale of Irony and Woe in Nicaragua
Country: Nicaragua / Fellow: Karen Gray (KF14)

How can a phenomenal harvest be detrimental to farmers? Karen explores how supply and demand affect market prices and the repayment ability of farmers.

Stretching a buck in Monrovia
Country: Liberia / Fellow: Carlos Cruz Montaño (KF14)

A dollar won’t buy you much in most developed countries, but in Liberia it gives you the chance to sample several delicious snacks. Carlos takes us on a culinary tour of Monrovia.

Along the road
Country: Ukraine / Fellow: Jacqueline Gunn (KF14)

You get out what you put in. Jacqueline shares a few of the things she has learned as a Kiva fellow in Ghana and Ukraine.

Faces: How We Connect.
Country: Sierra Leone / Fellow: Eric Rindal (KF15)

“To touch a person’s heart, you must see a person’s face.” Eric explores how pictures of borrowers and lenders make Kiva a very personal experience.

Video Blog: Interactuar – A Quite Amazing Organisation
Country: Colombia / Fellow: Nick Hamilton (KF14)

Can microloans alone be enough or are support services such as training and consultancy also needed? Nick lets his 2-part video do the talking.

Updates from the past month:
Farewells, Mistaken Identities + Micro-Microfinance
Earth Day, Celebrations + Exceeding Expectations
Trash, Delicious Treats + Community Outreach
Cute Pigs, New Toilets + Everything is Relative
April Fools, Terrible Coffee + Getting Attached

Plus more pictures from the past weeks:

Nepal (by Claudine Emeott)

Mexico (by John Farmer)

Uganda (by Nila Uthayakumar)

Nicaragua (by Karen Gray)

Liberia (by Carlos Cruz Montaño)

Ghana (by Jacqueline Gunn)

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.