Update from the Field: Borrower Feedback on Innovative Products, Sounds from the Field,

A cookstove vendor (and Kiva borrower!) in Burkina Faso – Diana Biggs, Burkina Faso

Through motivating stories, informative videos, intriguing sound bytes and interesting first-hand accounts, this week’s update is quite the smorgasbord of stories from the field.  Through accounts of first business loans and stories about successful community banks, Fellows in Georgia and Peru show us the effects of our loans; through sights, sounds and narratives, Fellows in Guatemala and New Orleans (among others) show us – and let us hear – bits of their daily lives; and through detailed accounts of interactions with field partners, Fellows in Burkina Faso, Uganda and Bolivia show us the great work Kiva’s collaborators are performing on the ground.  This week update proves that as Kiva and its partners continue to innovate, your best source on how these efforts translate into Stories from the Field is the Kiva Fellows Blog!

Selling Stoves in Burkina Faso, a humble field guide
Diana Biggs | KF18 | Burkina Faso
After a visit to Burkina Faso’s border with Ghana, Diana provides insight on the logistics and challenges of selling energy-efficient gas cookstoves to rural populations in Burkina Faso, through interviews with feedback of the salesmen themselves.

An Ode to the Chicken Bus
David Gorgani | KF17 + KF18 | Guatemala
Continuing his two-part series on public transportation, David discusses the most common form of inter-city transportation in Central America: the Chicken Bus.

The Start of Start-up Loans on Kiva
Ward Lassoe |  KF18 | Armenia

Whereas most Kiva loans are targeted toward expanding existing business, in this video post Ward describes a new and innovative Kiva product now available to borrowers in Georgia: microloans for start-up businesses.

It all started with a bijouterie workshop
Eduarda Carmo Vaz | KF18 | Peru
In this post, Eduarda explains Edaprospro’s group lending methodology and tells a story of growth through the eyes of a group of women that came together to form a communal bank after attending a jewelry-making workshop in 2008.

Savings Accounts make me way too excited!
Jon Hiebert | KF17 + KF18 | Uganda
Having recently attended a all-staff training session with UGAFODE focusing on marketing their newly authorized savings programs, Jon discusses both why savings accounts are such a foreign concept to many of UGAFODE’s clients, as well as the many benefits now available to these clients through this new product.

Sound Scenes from the Field
Meredith Pierce | KF18 | New Orleans
In a unique post focusing on the audible elements of a Kiva Fellowship, Meredith compiles sound bytes passed on by Fellows all over the world.  Can you guess which sound byte is from which country?

Standouts in Bolivian microfinance: Spotlight on Kiva partners ProMujer and Emprender
Isabel Balderrama | KF17 + KF18 | Bolivia
In this post, Isabel discusses her experiences with two of Kiva’s field partners in Bolivia as well as many of the reasons why these are some of the best microfinance institutions currently operating in Bolivia.


Updates from the Past Month:

Going the distance in Pakistan and putting Kiva Zip together. Plus, a word on the Olympics.
Kiva Products New and Old, Lender-Borrower Connections, and a Nice Glass of Cold Milk
Learning from Adversity and Environmentally-Friendly Stoves. Plus, More on Kiva Zip
Innovation, Vibrant Cities and Stories and Lessons from Borrowers


Plus, more pictures from the past week:

A line of “chicken buses” in Quetzaltenango – David Gorgani, Guatemala

Carmen, Maria and Lina proudly show their bijouterie products

Carmen, Maria and Lina, members of an Edaprospo communal bank – Eduarda Carmo Vaz, Peru

Discussing savings products with a new Kiva borrower – Jon Hiebert, Uganda

A village bank meeting in Bolivia’s Altiplano – Isabel Balderrama, Bolvia

David Gorgani is currently serving his second Fellowship in Guatemala, working with FAPE and ASDIR to help them maximize their relationships with Kiva. David’s previous Fellowship was in the Dominican Republic, helping ASPIRE get started as a Kiva Field Partner and helping Esperanza International with borrower verifications.

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