Across from DINARI Foundation’s office, there is a large concrete lot with two long warehouses lining the perimeter. In the middle of the lot, blue tarps covered three mounds that were perhaps fifteen feet in diameter. In the morning, workers removed the tarps, revealing piles of what looked like sand as high as the men’s waists. Two of the men wheeled out mechanized plows and bulldozed the piles, gradually spreading the material across the concrete in messy spirals. A third worker appeared with a bandanna covering his nose and...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with Kiva Field Partners
Kerti Moses and his wife Endang had one of the biggest homes I had seen in almost fifty visits to DINARI Foundation’s clients. The exposed concrete foundation elevated the house above the nearby dwelling of one of the couple’s workers. The entire floor was covered in big ceramic tiles printed like green marble, and the white walls still had a lingering freshness in parts. Inside was a big room with high exposed rafters and smaller bedrooms adjoining it. The main room was empty save for a table in one corner and a TV against the far wall....Continue Reading >>
I had the opportunity to attend the 3rd Annual African Microfinance Conference last week! Over 500 top government officials, academics, policy makers, and representatives from the private and public sector congregated at the Speke Resort in Munyonyo, Kampala for the four day event. Although I learned a lot from the presentations, speeches, and panel discussions, the networking opportunities were the real strength of the conference. Amidst the numerous dining and coffee breaks I had the chance to chat with Uganda’s Minster of Microfinance and the Minister of Finance, Planning, and Economic...Continue Reading >>
Hi readers! My name is Ben Elberger and I work with Kiva as a Microfinance Partnerships Manager. I’ll be blogging for the next six weeks from Africa as I travel with Chelsa Bocci and John Berry, Kiva Microfinance Partnership Directors, to our partners in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique.
Right now, I’m sitting in my friends’ dining room packing up final things and getting ready to head out to Dulles Airport for my flight to Entebbe (via Amsterdam). Chelsa and I will meet up in Amsterdam and we’ll rendezvous with John in Uganda. It’s...Continue Reading >>
Amidst many adventures, this week has had its share of sobering events. Many of Life in Africa’s (LiA) Kiva borrowers live in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Kampala. As a Kiva fellow, I travel to their homes to chat with them about the challenges they face operating small-scale businesses. On most days, the head of LiA’s microfinance program, Grace Ayaa, accompanies me on my interviews to serve as a translator. On Saturday Grace was late to our meeting. After some time she showed up looking dazed and disheartened. Grace informed...Continue Reading >>
Greetings from Uganda! My name is Maura and I have been working with Life in Africa (LiA) for the past four weeks. LiA is a community based organization servicing families affected by Northern Uganda’s civil war. Approximately 80% of members belonging to the Kampala LiA Center are mothers living in the Acholi Quarters–an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp. Political instability and violent rebel attacks over the past two decades have caused people to flee from the northern districts to escape persecution. Many LiA members hope to return home in the near future.
As a...Continue Reading >>
From left to right: Stephen (me), Mariah, Martha, and Martin (June 11, 2007)
Today is my first day at the office of Women...Continue Reading >>
I arrived in Kenya on Wednesday evening (two nights ago) after a long flight from New York via London. Because of weather delays from New York, I had to literally run the length of Heathrow Airport just to catch my connecting flight to Nairobi. Apparently my bags didn’t move that fast. The British Airways reps assure me that the bags will be coming hopefully within the next day or two. In the meantime it’s been amusing to see how long I can stretch the small supply of clothing and toiletries that fit in to my carry-on luggage.
I was met at the airport by Nancy, who is the unit...Continue Reading >>
The entrepreneurs that apply for loan money in Tanzania face all the typical challenges of a small business in the United States or Europe – recruiting and training staff, marketing their business to new and existing customers and finding suppliers with good prices – but they also have to contend with another set of challenges associated with operating in a country that doesn’t have a reliable infrastructure. Their unpredictable working environment became crystal clear to me on Saturday as I spent the day idle without power or water in my home in the Sinza...Continue Reading >>