Stories tagged with Senegal

Apr 4, 2016 SN Senegal
Imagine for a moment that you live in a village with no electricity.  When the sun goes down each evening, you rely on the light of fires or flashlights as you cook your evening meal. Your children must study before the sun goes down, or else use the dimly glowing light of a cell phone to illuminate their work. And speaking of cell phones, the only way to charge yours is to travel to a charging station in the nearest town, pay a fee, and wait while your battery replenishes.
Now imagine that you are suddenly offered an affordable, safe,...
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Feb 2, 2016 SN Senegal

A Senegalese man – early twenties, I’d guess – has been running silently beside me for the last three miles as the sun pounds down on us.  He’s wearing a long-sleeved jacket and a drawstring backpack and given that I sweat through my tank top miles ago, I am in awe. As we near the end of the race it becomes apparent that I might place so he begins clearing a path for me to accelerate through the runners ahead of us. I am exhausted but with his encouragement I pick up my pace.  Just before the final turn he...
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Mar 3, 2013 SN Senegal

Some of you have may lend to women borrowers gathered in groups called "Village Bank", or "Banc Villageois" in French, the following is the story of this system in Senegal.

In 1984, in a plane going to La Paz, John Hatch outlined a project in which poor people gathered in a group were directly in charge of their financial service program. The main idea was to provide small loan to poorest families, especially women, for helping them to start small businesses. Such as what Grameen Bank was already doing in Bangladesh.
Village Banking has been... Continue Reading >>
Jan 1, 2013 GT Guatemala, JO Jordan, KE Kenya, KG Kyrgyzstan, PH Philippines

By Kiva Fellows | KF19 | All Over the World

With January 2013 coming to an end, KF19 fellows are either continuing on with KF20 or returning home to various responsibilities and careers. Regardless of the next adventure or destination, one thing is common among all: KF19 fellows have been permanently changed by their placements.

What began as a joint blog post about any person, place, or event during the course of the fellowship that affected our lives, of itself turned into simply the one person who left the most impact. Afterall,...

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Dec 12, 2012 SN Senegal

0041.jpgw300Squished amid the forcibly vertical crowd of 45 some odd people in a Senegalese bus made for “15 maximum!”  (or so the sign read…), arms glued to my sides and modeling a facial expression of utter discomfort, I overheard a jarring statistic shared in conversation between my neighbors:  25% of Senegal’s population is living in .3% of the land in Dakar.

Try to find empty space — I dare you.

The mind visual...

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Nov 11, 2012 SN Senegal

Senegalese cellphone subscribers 2000:     Senegalese cellphone subscribers 2011:

Approximately 250,000                                 Approximately 9.3 million

The numbers are jarring, and the widespread presence of cellphones is palpable.

Before coming to Senegal, a friend encouraged me to keep an eye out for the radical, drastic, and constant ...

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Nov 11, 2012 SN Senegal

It’s not a path uncharted, per se; in fact, the use of banks on wheels the world over is surprisingly widespread.  The existence of a mobile bank branch with UIMCEC – the bank with whom I’m working – is recent enough, however, to create quite a stir.

Allow me to present you with (drum roll): banks on wheels.  As the name suggests, they’re adaptable, they’re versatile, and they’re… moveable!  The wheels can come in a variety of forms – from cars, to buses, to vans, to RVs – and the impact they have in developing countries is simply immeasurable.

Needless to say the processes...

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Nov 11, 2012 SN Senegal

The magnificent Mame.

Mame Aly Laye had an anchoring presence and glow that pulled me in.

I typically acknowledge the clients stopping by whichever branch I’m working at with a head nod, a soft smile, and a swift return of my gaze back down to whichever activity I’m absorbed in.  It’s my imperfect way of acknowledging that we both have busy days we must carry on with.

There was something different about Mame.  The moment I spotted him walking...

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Oct 10, 2012 SN Senegal

I’m piggybacking Holly’s great blog on Eid al-Adha – i.e. Tabaski – to give you a peek into how another West African country celebrates this highly anticipated holiday. Turns out, as you will learn, the brouhaha differs a bit from place to place.

My introduction to Tabaski began several weeks ago when I arrived for my first day at UIMCEC. Within the first 30 minutes of being seated at my desk, conversation with my supervisor was interrupted twice by clients seeking to take out loans for Tabaski. Both times, my supervisor shot me a look of: “Much more of this to come…”


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Oct 10, 2012 SN Senegal

A Recap of My Visits to a Senegalese Soccer Game and Île de Gorée (Island of Gorée)

Among the first pieces of advice I was given by a local upon arriving in Senegal was: “If you’re to do only two things while here in Dakar, make them a trip to the Senegalese soccer stadium (watch a live game, too, “if you’re lucky”), and an afternoon visit to the emblematic Île de Gorée.”

Senegal’s soccer stadium — Dakar, Senegal

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