Fellows Blog Posts by Samuel Trauffer

Jul 28, 2010 KG Kyrgyzstan

My six months as a Kiva Fellow made me realize how privileged I am. Reading this might not be spectacular. Writing it is! Have a go!

Sam Trauffer worked as a Kiva Fellow at two wonderful MFIs, Caurie Microfinance in Senegal and Bai-Tushum & Partners in Kyrgyzstan. This weekend, he heads home to Switzerland.

Continue Reading >>

Jul 19, 2010 KG Kyrgyzstan

By Sam Trauffer, Kiva Fellow

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Kyrgyzstan is one of the dark spots (source: www.transparency.org)

Kyrgyzstan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. In the Corruption Perception Index 2009, it ranks 162 out of the 180 countries that were covered....

Continue Reading >>

Jul 10, 2010 KG Kyrgyzstan

By Sam Trauffer, KF11

You probably don’t know a lot about this small country in Central Asia called Kyrgyzstan. The things that you know might be negative since the country has suffered in recent months: in a bloody revolution in April, the former president accused of corruption and nepotism was ousted. After weeks of instability, violent clashes broke out in the city of Osh in the South of Kyrgyzstan, leaving up to two thousand dead and hundreds of thousands on the run. The good news is that two weeks ago, a referendum on a new constitution was held with no problems...

Continue Reading >>

Jun 4, 2010 KG Kyrgyzstan

By Sam Trauffer, Kyrgyzstan

Four weeks ago, I arrived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to start my second Kiva fellowship. I had spent the previous three months in Thiès, Senegal. The poverty patterns which I encountered in Senegal were not apparent in Bishkek. “Poverty in post-Soviet Union countries is not easily understood”, Eva Nemirovsky, the other Kiva Fellow who currently works in Bishkek, wrote in her recent blog post. Indeed. There seemed to be so many amenities here in Bishkek of which I would not have dared to dream of in Senegal! Four example, our apartment had...

Continue Reading >>

Apr 3, 2010 SN Senegal

Employees of Caurie Microfinance can be characterized by three traits: they work hard, long and passionately! How come?

Caurie staff in the branch of Louga, Senegal: hard work and an easy smile

Whatever branch of Caurie Microfinance I visit, from Louga in the north of Senegal to Vélingara in the south, the identification of employees with the institution is remarkable. Loan officers who work on loan contracts and Kiva profiles till midnight, supervisors who...

Continue Reading >>

Mar 6, 2010 SN Senegal

By Sam Trauffer, KF10, Senegal

When a lender looks at the profile of a borrower on kiva.org, he is fed with lots of information about this individual. The reverse is not always the case, as Taylor Akin pointed out in her great blogpost. At least with lenders who have created a personal lender-profile, it is possible to create a two way communication which fulfills Kiva’s goal of connecting people through lending. Kevin Chaissan demonstrated a beautiful example in his post.

When I visit clients to get information for journal updates, I take a printout of their profile...

Continue Reading >>