Update from the Field: Kiva Products New and Old, Lender-Borrower Connections, and a Nice Glass of Cold Milk

A Kiva client in Guatemala weaves a huipil, or traditional dress garment – David Gorgani, Guatemala

This week’s update from the field covers a number of Fellows’ experiences as they work on adapting their MFIs’ innovative products to Kiva lenders, as they continue to develop Kiva’s newest and most innovative initiatives, and as they continue to visit borrowers – in this case borrowers whose loans they themselves financed!  Whether old school or new school, Kiva products continue to focus on providing a connection between you and the borrowers whose loans you’ve financed.  This week’s posts help us to understand the new ways (and the old) in which this connection can be developed and appreciated.

Explaining Kiva Zip from a Whitewater Raft
Muskan Chopra | KF18 | Kenya
In this post, Muskan juxtaposes her experience whitewater rafting down the Nile with the life and experience of a Kiva Zip Borrower, focusing on the importance of trust, motivation and a whole lot of effort.

Why Kiva’s Original Product is Still my Favorite
David Gorgani | KF17 + KF18 | Guatemala
As Kiva continues expanding into a number of new fields of financial services, David discusses the reasons why the comprehensive package that is the good ol’ loan to small-scale entrepreneurs is still his favorite Kiva product.

Feeling Truly Connected: Kiva Fellows Meeting their “Own” Borrowers in Person
Luan Nio and Olivia Hanrahan-Soar |  KF18 | Nicaragua and Zambia

As Luan and Olivia take to the field to visit borrowers whose loans they themselves supported, they describe experiencing firsthand the sense of connection that is essential to Kiva’s mission.

Got Milk?
Varick Schwartz | KF18 | Kenya
Recently returned from a visit to a milk cooling plant, Varick describes both the importance of this industry in Kenya and how exactly his field partner, Juhudi, is planning its expansion into this field.


Updates from the Past Month:

Learning from Adversity and Environmentally-Friendly Stoves. Plus, More on Kiva Zip
Innovation, Vibrant Cities and Stories and Lessons from Borrowers
Client training in Mexico, saying “hello!” to Burkina Faso, + learn a little bit about Albania!
Thoughts on Home (New and Old), Fun Experiences and First Days


Plus, more pictures from the past week:

Muskan surveys a Kiva Zip borrower regarding her loan experience – Muskan Chopra, Kenya

Fidelia and Maria Isabel in front of Fidelia’s telar, which is used to weave cloth to keep tortillas warm – David Gorgani, Guatemala

Olivia meets Muyoyeta, a borrower whose loan she helped finance, in Kalabo, Zambia – Olivia Hanrahan-Soar, Zambia

Testing milk in a cooling/testing plant in the Kerio Valley of Kenya – Varick Schwartz, Kenya

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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