Updates from the Field: Autonomy, Sierra Leone and the 2011 Kiva Love Tour

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

The president of one of Kiva Field Partner Micro Start's solidarity groups. By Allison Moomey, KF16, Burkina Faso

This week’s updates come at a time of change for Fellows around the world. As the holidays near, Fellows prepare to phase out of their current placements, move on to the next ones, and tie up loose ends with their Kiva Field Partners. But this doesn’t interfere with Fellows’ primary mission: to ensure that Kiva’s work and the work of our Field Partners is, too, sparking change as the new year approaches.

Malaria Dreams: The True Kiva Fellowship Experience
By Tejal Desai, KF16, Sierra Leone

Looking back on her Fellowship, Tejals offers a unique glimpse into Kiva Fellow’s experience. She brings us along for the journey of finding out her placement (and then finding out it was changed), arriving in Sierra Leone, and hitting the inevitable speed bumps, pot holes, and the trough of disillusionment.

The Ladder of Autonomy
By Allison Moomey, KF16, Burkina Faso
Allison discusses Micro Start’s solidary groups and their vision for each group member: ultimately, to achieve a level of autonomy from microcredit itself.

Kiva Love Tour: Honduras 2011
By Sandra Pina, KF16, Honduras
For the Kiva groupies out there, Sandra takes us backstage her “Kiva Love Tour,” her recent whirlwind tour of 26 ODEF Financiera branch offices. Sure, maybe she wasn’t actually doing any musical performances, but she was definitely spreading Kiva love.

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Adapting for Borrowers by Borrowers, Microinsurance + SKFL
Why Do We Lend, What’s a Kiva Fellowship + How does Microfinance Support Green & Agricultural Development?
Expanding the Reach of Microfinance, Downsizing Development + Why We Kiva
Kiva-style Microfinance, Reggaeton + a Journey though the Commercial Jungle
Loan Use, Agriculture Loans + Stuff Kiva Fellows Like

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Plus more on-the-ground photos from the past week:

Swit Salone, it's been real. By Tejal Desai, KF16, Sierra Leone

By Sandra Pina, KF16, Honduras

A loan officer with one of Micro Start's solidarity groups, one rung up on the ladder of autonomy. By Allison Moomey, KF16, Burkina Faso

About the author

Kate Bennett

Prior to working with Kiva, Kate lived in Quito, Ecuador working in environmental management as a consultant for USAID implementing partners in the global south. After earning her B.A. in Political Economy, Postcolonial History, and Development from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in January 2010, she pursued a practice-based understanding of effective tools in development through work with New York based social change organizations and grassroots nonprofit organizations in Guatemala. Kate worked previously with Kiva as a Kiva Fellow in Ecuador and Peru, which fomented her commitment to microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation.