Stories tagged with Africa

Jul 7, 2009 SN Senegal

By Abby Gray, KF6/7, Togo & Senegal (now in New York)

In Dakar, this ad provoked vandals to rebel against the culturally inappropriate image. In New York, it wouldn't get a second glance.

If you have to deal with culture shock after 8 months of living in West Africa, New York is one of the most dramatic places to do it. On one hand, the vibrancy and energy of pedestrian-filled, trafficky New York streets isn’t all that different from the dusty...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KE Kenya

By Alison Carlman, KF8 – Kenya

As a graduate student of International Development at an African university, I wish that the answer was as simple as finding the “one thing” to alleviate poverty.  For marketing purposes, NGOs and “experts” tell us that the answer is so simple, whether it’s access to clean water, economic liberalization, universal healthcare, education, modernization, or microfinance. But 50 years of “Development” in practice teaches us that it’s not so black and white.

Kiva will be the first to tell you: microfinance is not the solution to poverty. ...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 MZ Mozambique

By Cameron Morris KF8, Mozambique

In San Francisco waking up on a Saturday morning and hitting the Noe Valley farmers market is always a good time. Organic, sustainably grown, local produce , grass-fed, free range meat, 30 something couples playing with their toddlers and quaint discussions with local farmers are just a few of the delights. I’ve got a particular soft spot for the ever-popular heirloom tomatoes, I even went so far as to cultivate my own last year.

How does the...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 MZ Mozambique

By Cameron Morris, KF8 – Mozambique

During Kiva Fellows training we were tasked with putting Kiva’s Mission statement into our own words. This gave us the opportunity to critically think about Kiva’s mission and to highlight aspects of the mission that we thought most important. I placed emphasis on Kiva’s use of technology to meet its goals. Having been in the field, Mozambique , for a little over a week I have been amazed by the creative leveraging of basic technologies by my MFI.

... Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8, Ghana, Africa

I have a professor and mentor from my undergraduate days whose advice and thoughts I value and respect so much.  I still communicate with him regularly, and over the years, the topic of interest rates in microfinance has come up repeatedly in our conversations.  This is the man from whom I first learned about community currency, an alternative exchange system used alongside national currencies.  He is knowledgeable about micro and macroeconomics, as well as finance.  However, our conversations about interest rates for microloans always end the...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KE Kenya

Joel Carlman – Kisumu, Kenya – KF8

Hello from Kisumu, Kenya! After 36 hours of flying and several very sound nights of sleep, I’m writing you from the offices of Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (K-MET), our Kiva field partner! I say our because I have the privilege of working alongside my wife, Alison Carlman throughout our Kiva Fellowship. What an experience!


Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 RW Rwanda

“Allow me to introduce myself”, I’m Laura Buhler, a member of the KF8 class.

I am from Calgary, Canada and have found the transition to life in Rwanda to be very smooth, given just a couple of bumps in the road.

Exactly two weeks in to my Fellowship at Vision Finance Company (VFC) in Kigali, Rwanda, one baggage loss and one hospital visit later, I have settled in to life here in Rwanda. Since arriving, my mind has been flooded with questions and realizations about this new culture. In fact, I am sure that this constant thinking has been the factor that led to my lack of sleep...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 TZ Tanzania

After reading my post about BRAC Tanzania a few days ago, I imagine that many of you are just chomping at the bit to get more involved with the organization.

Oh you absolutely are, you say?

Well, you’re in luck. There is a BRAC Tanzania Lending Team on that you can join and be surrounded by fellow BRAC Tanzania enthusiasts! We only have 8 members right now, so you should really go to the site, join the lending team and help our BRAC Tanzania Lending Team grow to be as massive as BRAC itself!

Thanks to those 8 people who have joined and together already...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 TZ Tanzania

The concept of risk has been discussed by many, and often, over the past year, as citizens around the world voice their concerns about the global recession. Mortgage risk, loan risk, credit risk, bailout risk, risk assessment, risk of spending too much, risk of spending too little, and on and on. A lot of risky business (and not the underwear dance kind) has been going on and we are paying for it now in all too literal a way.

There is another kind of risk though; one that I think some of you may be familiar with. That’s right, it’s Risk, as in epic board game, world...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8 Ghana, Africa

“Akwaaba!”  (Welcome!), I heard, over and over in my first few days here in Ghana, and what a wonderful welcome it has been!  When I stepped outside the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, my heart lept at the feel of the warm and humid summer night clinging to my skin and the cacophony of voices in Twi, which is the most commonly spoken language here in Ghana.  It sounded to me like a kind of chaotic harmony, blending perfectly with snatches of disparate Ghanaian music coming from various vehicles as I left the airport for my hotel.  Every face...

Continue Reading >>