Prior to working with Kiva, Kate lived in Quito, Ecuador working in environmental management as a consultant for USAID implementing partners in the global south. After earning her B.A. in Political Economy, Postcolonial History, and Development from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in January 2010, she pursued a practice-based understanding of effective tools in development through work with New York based social change organizations and grassroots nonprofit organizations in Guatemala. Kate worked previously with Kiva as a Kiva Fellow in Ecuador and Peru, which fomented her commitment to microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation.

Fellows Blog Posts by Kate Bennett

Jul 18, 2011 CL Chile

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

Kiva borrower Jóse in his store in the Lo Espejo neighborhood of Santiago, Chile

Microfinance is about change- positive change for borrowers, their local economies, and the future of the developing world. This week our Fellows share stories of change across the globe: a brighter outcome for the children of Kiva borrowers in Sierra Leone; transformed businesses and...

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Jun 29, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Kate Bennett (KF15), Ecuador

A bird's eye view of Chunchi, Ecuador

On Monday morning, long before the sun rose on Quito, Fundación Alternativa’s Business Manager, two Loan Officers and I embarked on an all-day journey to remote Chunchi, Ecuador. After the promised “three-and-a-half hour drive, at the most,” we arrived at our final destination another five hours later: a mountaintop with an incredible view of the sun high in...

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Jun 27, 2011 CM Cameroon

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

A Togolese street vendor: Inventory on the head, baby on the back

Last week our internationally-scattered Kiva Fellows introduced us to some of the men and women that compose the sixty countries in which Kiva works. From the woman in Cameroon who represents the strength of her nation; to the Phillipino men that must migrate from their country to make a living; to the young men and...

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Jun 13, 2011 EC Ecuador

This is the first post in a series. Stay tuned for Megan Bond (KF15)’s post tomorrow:  “New Partnerships in the Middle of the World, Part II.”

Some of Fundación Alternativa's exceptional staff (and me), from left: Kate Bennett (KF15), Washington, Sandra, Claudia, Juan Francisco

Of the seven-step process to becoming a Kiva Field Partner, the last step is easily the most exciting. It signifies a new...

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Jun 13, 2011 JO Jordan

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

The former Prosecutor's office, burnt out in April 2010's political upheaval in Kyrgyzstan

Kiva’s Field Partners are spread far and wide, from Nicaragua to Nepal, Afghanistan to America. As we lend $25 to a borrower in a distant land, we try to imagine what his or her life is like. This is one of Kiva’s greatest successes, in fact: it gives us a glimpse into the life of...

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May 30, 2011 CO Colombia

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field: Fixing the chain on the way to a repayment meeting in Haiti. Poor roads thwart borrowers and MFI loan officers alike.

This week in the field fellows across the world explore the factors that make microfinance and its successes a reality. In Kenya, we meet the actors who reach out to borrowers everyday, at any and all degrees of their own discomfort. In Nicaragua,...

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