After approximately a year of waiting I finally made it to my destination: the micro finance institute (MFI) Esperanza/Hope International located in balmy, beautiful Santo Domingo! Kalie Gold (another Kiva Fellow) and Analin (Kiva Coordinator) have been gracious enough to show me the ropes, and there is plenty to do. Right now we are currently working on designing a short training course for getting better profile pictures, more journal updates, getting documents sent on a timely manner, etc.
I was really excited to learn that Esperanza/Hope International are getting ready to launch Kiva loans from Haiti! I am really, really excited that I will be part of this amazing opportunity. As many of you know Haiti, the least developed country in the Western Hemisphere, has been experiencing severe economic recession. This has resulted in the majority of its residents to live in extreme poverty. To give you an idea of the situation the current gross national income (GNI) is currently only $560 (USD). Haiti is also severely deforested, with estimates of approximately only 2% of the country forested. The economic and environmental conditions make Haiti a destination of UN Peacekeepers, and development organizations.
We will be traveling to Trou du Nord, Haiti to interview Kiva borrowers. I am unsure of how many loans will be posted. But I am confident that Kiva members will snap them up quickly so keep your eye out for the Haiti loans! I hope you will participate in the important challenge of alleviating poverty one micro loan at a time!
This afternoon I had the pleasure to see a group of 5 women receive their loan money. I have to say when I saw the women get their money and talked to them about what they planned to do with their loan I got a bit emotional. One woman planned to sell men’s shoes, another a fruit stand, and another clothing. It is such an amazing thing to see these women get a chance at something more. One of the women told the loan officer that in two years she was going to have a bought a car by then and was going to stop by and pick him up! Now that’s confidence./>