Last Week in the Field: “Christmas”, Trekking, Adversity + Good Company

Fellows wrote about visiting with borrowers and so much more (South African clients pictured above)

Members of the 14th class of Kiva Fellows have officially hit their stride. While we never know where the next dispatch will come from or what interesting topics the Fellows will cover next, we always know we’ll be transported, entertained, and edified. This past week, topics included “Christmas”, trekking to a remote village (with video!), handling adversity (including a serious car accident and stolen electronics), and enjoying the company of loan officers, borrowers, and community members. Enjoy!
First Borrower Visit (Take 350+)
Country: South Africa / Fellow: Alexis Ditkowsky (KF14)

A Fellow’s “First Borrower Visit” is a rite of passage. Alexis lists a few highlights from her first time in the field.

In Defense of “High” MFI Interest Rates: Part II
Country: Uganda / Fellow: Nila Uthayakumar (KF14)

Nila demonstrates just how expensive it is to run a microfinance organization by sharing her partner MFI’s budget.

Hey, Soul Sisters!
Country: Ghana / Fellow: Mei-ing Cheok (KF14)

Mei-ing meets with her first group of borrowers in Ghana and shares their stories on the blog and on (click on the links at the end of her post).

Part 4: What is the industry doing to protect borrowers?
Country: Ghana, Ukraine / Fellow: Jacqueline Gunn (KF13, KF14)

Even though she’s in transit between Ghana and Ukraine, Jacqueline weighs in on borrower protection in this on-going series about the state of microfinance.

A Post about Nothing
Country: Mexico / Fellow: John Farmer (KF14)

John recounts a wonderful and rewarding day in the life of a Kiva Fellow that unfortunately ended on a disappointing note.

A Month in Armenia
Country: Armenia / Fellow: Caree Edson (KF14)

While Caree’s past week in Armenia has been shaped by a serious car accident, she writes beautifully about both the challenges and joys of her new home.

Video Blog: Trek to Kanaan Village
Country: Indonesia / Fellow: Lisa Skowron (KF14)

Lisa’s post is a perfect visual companion to Nila’s defense of “high” interest rates. Just wait for the part where a loan officer tries to drive a scooter through a river so he can (eventually) visit a client.

Next Steps for Kiva’s Partner in South Africa
Country: South Africa / Fellow: Alexis Ditkowsky (KF14)

In addition to a behind-the-scenes look at Kiva’s partner in South Africa, Alexis shares pictures from training loan officers and visiting new borrowers.

Lessons from my own Country – Lecciones de mi Tierra
Country: Mexico / Fellow: Lourdes Toussaint (KF13)

Lourdes reflects on the impact of poverty in her home country, the limitations and opportunities of microfinance, and the fantastic women she’s met in the past few months.

Christmas in Managua
Country: Nicaragua / Fellow: Karen Gray (KF14)

What does it feel like to turn down a struggling family for a microloan? Karen paints a dispiriting yet honest picture.

The Financial Donut Hole
Country: Sierra Leone / Fellow: David McNeill (KF14)

Where do entrepreneurs go for financing if microloans are too small and bank loans are unattainable? David’s conversation with a taxi driver in Freetown illustrates this conundrum perfectly.

Bolivian Kiva borrowers: buying a cow, selling food, acquiring sewing machines and constructing rooms
Country: Bolivia / Fellow: Clara Vreeken (KF14)

Clara introduces us to borrowers in Bolivia and shares the wide range of ways they’re using their loans.

Check out all the posts from this past week

About the author

Alexis Ditkowsky