Fellows Blog Posts by Cassie

Dec 12, 2008 GH Ghana

In the United States, my home country, our motto as of late has been change. I have been working at the Christian Rural Aid Network (CRAN) in Ghana for almost two months now, and I am just in time to witness some monumental policy changes of its own that will redefine the way CRAN does business and may even give President-elect Obama a run for his money.

Currently, CRAN has seven different branches in three regions of Ghana. Four of its branches are located near the main office around Cape Coast and Elmina, Ghana, two fishing towns that aren’t...

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Nov 26, 2008 GH Ghana

Language is said to be the thing that separates man from animal. Oliver Wendell Holmes said it is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow. It is also the way in which we can most easily communicate our deepest thoughts and desires with another. It is a tool that we use to bridge us together.

Yet since I have arrived in Ghana, I have begun to define language in an entirely new way. It is a constant ebb and flow of words and understanding. It is a roller-coaster ride of gerunds and participial phrases that mean all...

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Nov 12, 2008

What does an African country do in the aftermath of election violence in its neighbors, including Kenya and Zimbabwe? In the case of Ghana, about to hold its presidential elections in December, it takes the mere thought of election violence very seriously and starts a country-wide campaign against it.

Africa is a very big place, but in some ways despite its vast landscapes, cultures, and governments, there is a sense in Ghana that it is all connected. African wear and television channels like TV Africa connect them together and create a sense of...

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Oct 17, 2008 GH Ghana

Veronica was more than just the small provisions shop owner across the street from where I used to live in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. She was more than just a woman full of life and smiles who I would often visit with on my way home from work. She was a friend, one I even visited at home to say goodbye to when I left. So when I spend my first five days in Ghana back in the neighborhood where I lived for two months last year while working at a popular Ghanaian newspaper, one of the things on my to-do list was to see Veronica.

I walked down the street where I used to live, down...

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Sep 18, 2008

My name is Cassie DeFillipo, and I am one of the new Kiva Fellows currently training in San Francisco and preparing to head out into the field to serve as a liason for Kiva and its microfinance institutions in Africa. I will be spending my first three months at CRAN (Christian Rural Aid Network) on the coast of Ghana about an hour west of its capital city and then three months working with Sinapi Aba Trust in Kumasi, Ghana’s cultural capital where many of its most famous products come from. After that, I will be sent somewhere else in Africa–pretty much wherever Kiva needs me....

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