Stories tagged with All

Sep 9, 2009 KE Kenya

by Joel Carlman, KF8

As a parting shot from my Kiva Fellowship, I put this short video together to represent what a “typical” Kenyan woman’s life is like. It doesn’t even begin to do justice to any of the great Kiva borrowers, but it’s at least my best attempt at immortalizing all of them!  Enjoy.

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Joel Carlman recently...

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Aug 8, 2009 KE Kenya

by Joel Carlman, KF8

As I enter the final week of my Kiva Fellowship here in Kisumu, Kenya, I find myself thinking about what my time here has taught me.  Kenya is so different from any place that I’ve ever been.  The smiles are brighter, the hand-shakes longer, and the hospitality warmer than just about anywhere.

I know that I’m doing microfinance, and that Kiva is about borrowing and lending.  The terms, the accounts, the figures, and financials are so interesting to me, and that can sometimes seem like what it is all about.  During my fellowship, I dove deep into...

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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Courtney Kemps, KF8 Peru

I thought I’d share this little story because I think it nicely illustrates both the typical and the wildly atypical in my work as a Kiva Fellow.  And it also illustrates how these two opposites sometimes intertwine in unusual ways . . . .

In the course of my work with Kiva field partner Manuela Ramos I have spent a lot of my time interviewing Kiva borrowers to provide lenders with updates on their businesses.  Each week I attend several communal bank meetings in order to meet the borrowers and set up interviews with them.  All of Manuela’...

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Aug 8, 2009 TG Togo

By Abby Gray, KF6 Togo and KF7 Senegal

How a Kiva Fellow Alumna’s non-profit organization, SunPower Afrique, is shedding light on MFIs in West Africa

“Beep,” complained my laptop, unhappy about its sudden switch to battery power.  The fan above me whirred gently to a stop, no longer drying the beads of sweat incessantly forming on my forehead.  “Page can not be displayed,” grumbled Firefox.  My internet connection was gone, along with any hope I had of uploading my stack of borrower profiles to the Kiva website.

I walked out into the hallway and found...

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Aug 8, 2009 VN Vietnam

by Michael Kasseris

Often times life is like a boxing match. You’re put into the ring with a challenge and you have some rounds to hash it out.  Once you’re in this figurative ring you have a few options: you can get scared and jump out of the ring, you could dance around for a few rounds, or you can try to engage the challenge and see how you hold up.  I know this metaphor sounds incredibly cliché, however it reminds me of a phrase our Fellows director told us way back in San Fran.  To prepare us for our experiences in the “microfinance mundo,” ( I borrowed this from Susan Arthur,...

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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Rob Mittelman, KF8, Peru

Most days I struggle with what I see.

The academic in me would explain the concept of economic dualism as the coexistence of modern and traditional sectors within a single economy, especially as found in less-developed countries. Modern and traditional are perhaps polite terms for rich and poor (that’s not the academic in me, that’s the cynic). The division between rich and poor, or modern and traditional, is as great here as I’ve seen in Latin America. Statistics may say otherwise but I see a great...

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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Suzy Marinkovich, KF8 Peru

What is an artist?  What is an artisan? Are they different?

The debate caught my interest when I was walking away from Ayacucho’s Ex-Carcel, a former prison now converted to an artisan market where many of our Kiva borrowers at FINCA Peru work.  As I chatted with Jen, a friend of mine and herself an avid student of language, I couldn’t shake something she said.  She noted that the term ‘artisan’ often seems more related to poverty or developing nations, whereas the term ‘artist’ seems more attached to an upper-crust society, or...

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Aug 8, 2009 PH Philippines

By Sloane Berrent, KF8, Ahon sa Hirap, Inc, Philippines

A Center Meeting in San Jose, Antique, Philippines.

“How has Ahon sa Hirap, Inc.” (ASHI and my host microfinance institution) “being here in your barangay or in your town helped your community?”

I ask the women from ASHI during each Center meeting that I attend. There are a few variations on this question. I ask how their lives have changed and what the Center... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2009 LR Liberia

This place is like no country I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been fortunate to see over 130 in my 20+ years of adventure travel.The history of Liberia is unique in Africa because of its relationship with the United States. It is one of the few countries in Africa without roots in  European colonialism.   Liberia did not exist as a country until it was colonized by freed American slaves in 1847, forming a government based on the US system.  The capital city is named after President James Monroe and the monetary currency is the Liberian Dollar.

This government...

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Aug 8, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Susan Arthur, KF8 (Kiva Fellow 8th Class) in Nicaragua

This week marks World Breastfeeding Week prompting me to contemplate how microfinance and breastfeeding play important roles in alleviating poverty.

More than 80% of Kiva entrepreneurs are women, many of whom are mothers with home-based businesses where they can easily satisfy their baby’s hunger and provide for their optimal growth by breastfeeding.  Indeed, on a few occasions, Kiva field partners have posted profile photos on Kiva’s site of borrowers nursing their babies.

Could breastfeeding rates...

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