Catherine is a proud Texan who graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Globalization and Development and now works as the Online Marketing Manager at Kiva. One of her very favorite activities is traveling to hear about the lives of Kiva borrowers around the world, but in her spare time, you'll find her hiking, cooking, and trying to find the best coffee shops and Mexican food in San Francisco.

Kiva Blog Updates

Jun 18, 2018 KV Kiva HQ
Walida, a Kiva borrower in Lebanon. Photos by Brandon Smith.


It was a minute that changed everything: Walida and her family were taking cover in their home in Syria to shield themselves from the ongoing bombing and fighting in the streets. In the chaos, they did not realize that one of their sons had stepped outside.

Wanting to be with his grandparents, Walida's son made the short walk to their home next door. The children regularly dashed in...

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Jun 18, 2018 KV Kiva HQ
Nour, a Kiva borrower in Lebanon. Photos by Brandon Smith.

The Kiva community is rallying to raise $1 million in loans for refugees and internally displaced people by World Refugee Day, June 20.

Perched on a hill in Lebanon overlooking rolling green farmland, sits a small apartment building shaded by grapevines growing over the front patio. It's quiet, with very few passing cars and only the sounds of birds chirping and women and...

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Feb 26, 2018 KV Kiva HQ
Story by Catherine Cocke; Photos by Brandon Smith

Phearong's nerves quickly took hold of her as she looked at the stage.

"Oh my god! What am I going to say?" she thought as she frantically tried to get her friend to speak instead of her, but she steadied herself, determined to use her voice.

She had worked for 25 years for this moment to speak boldly about pressing for progress on women's rights. Phearong took the stage to speak to dozens of ambassadors at the European Union...

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Jan 24, 2018 KV Kiva HQ
Story and photos by Catherine Cocke

In the early hours of Oct. 8, 2017, residents of Santa Rosa, Calif., awoke to a real-life nightmare as they watched flames cascade over the hills toward their homes. With only minutes to grab family members and escape from the fires coming their way, thousands of people — mothers, fathers, children — lost everything.

Dewitt, a resident of the Santa Rosa area, was among those battered by the fire. A father to 1 child, with another on the...

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Nov 20, 2017 KV Kiva HQ

We traveled a long way for this moment: more than 7,000 miles, 3 flights, including on a propeller plane, and a 5 hour road trip along winding roads and through palm tree jungles.

We took this journey to the Philippines to visit Kiva borrowers and to find 1 special borrower in particular: Lorebel. Finally, we take the short walk through banana trees to her home.

Lorebel lives on one of the more touristy islands in the Philippines, but as she watches our Kiva photographer and me approach, her eyes grow wide. We are the first foreigners...

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Jun 1, 2017 MX Mexico
This is part 4 of a 4 part series about Kiva's very first Lender Field trip to Mexico City in February 2017. The author, lender Sonia, is an ordained minister in California who is married with three kids. Sonia is an advocate for affordable housing, after school programs and immigrant rights in Los Angeles County, but remains very passionate about stewardship in the global community.

When I discovered Kiva two years ago, I excitedly studied the website and immediately began to participate in microlending all over the world. I began by lending to individuals and groups... Continue Reading >>
May 4, 2017 MX Mexico
For the first time ever, a few lucky and devoted Kiva lenders were extended the opportunity to see Kiva at work on the ground. Recently, 7 lenders visited 2 Kiva Field Partners and their borrowers in Mexico City, as part of our first lender trip to the field. It was a unique and thrilling opportunity to see Kiva dollars at work, transforming lives and communities up close.

This post is the third of a 4 part series, which came to us from the lender trip. This piece was contributed by Michael, who has been lending on Kiva since 2011.

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Feb 11, 2017 MX Mexico

Photo by: Catherine Cocke

For the first time ever, a few lucky and devoted Kiva lenders were extended the opportunity to see Kiva at work on the ground. This past week, these 7 lenders visited 2 Kiva Field Partners and their borrowers in Mexico City, as part of our first lender trip to the field. It was a unique and thrilling opportunity to see Kiva dollars at work, transforming lives and communities up close.

This post is the second of a 4 part series, which came to us during the... Continue Reading >>