Oct 13, 2016 KV Kiva HQ
By Natalie Brown
An update on our partners in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew

On October 4, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti and eastern Cuba as a Category 4 storm, causing massive destruction and severe damage to much of the region. Relief agencies are racing to deliver supplies across the island, but an estimated 900 people have tragically lost their lives and there is now a high risk of a cholera outbreak due to contaminated water sources.


We reached out to our partners in Haiti, and fortunately Palmis, Fonkoze and D&E's staff are all safe. They are working on resuming their activities and checking in with their clients to evaluate the situation with the hope that casualties remain minimal.


Unfortunately, when the hurricane hit the town of Les Anglais, EarthSpark’s team, solar energy microgrid and customers were at the very center of the storm. Thankfully all EarthSpark team members are safe and accounted for, but most Les Anglais homes and businesses were destroyed or severely damaged, including those connected to the EarthSpark microgrid. EarthSpark is now working with stakeholders on reconstruction efforts to redistribute electricity to the town.


Here at Kiva, our thoughts are with the people of Haiti and all areas affected by the storm. The news is heartbreaking but the past has shown us how much can be achieved when people come together to take action in hard times. We will continue to update lenders who supported these projects as we receive more information.


EarthSpark works to provide high-quality, affordable clean energy products to the people of Haiti

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Originally from Philadelphia, Natalie moved to San Francisco after graduating college to pursue her passion for helping people around the world. She received her B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Africa from Elon University, and studied abroad twice during that time. Her love for Africa was solidified during her travels, first in Ghana where she visited schools and danced at durbars, then in Tanzania where she worked at a radio station and conducted field research in a village. A lover of languages, she can converse in French and Swahili (her favorite word being “bia”- beer), and she hopes to one day be in Senegal where she can speak French while living in Africa. It was in Tanzania that she first visited a microfinance institution, the Mama Bahati Foundation, which opened her eyes to the beauty of microfinance. Last summer, she canvassed for Doctors without Borders, and loved knowing she was working to help others. Now, she looks forward to the fulfilling work she will do at Kiva and to helping connect people around the world.

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