Originally from Virginia, Susan has lived in Washington, D.C., for the past 20 years, working in publishing and communications for a retail advocacy organization. Her volunteer work with a local social enterprise incubator that supported sustainable technology-based solutions in developing countries sparked an interest in international development, particularly in market-based solutions to alleviating poverty. Hoping to transition into a social-impact career and wanting an immersive living-abroad experience, she began researching opportunities that combined both and was excited to learn that Kiva offered a fellowship program. She believes that microfinance has the potential to make a significant impact — particularly for women and families — around the world. She is thrilled to join the Kiva Fellows program where she is working with three Kiva field partners in Ghana — Camfed Ghana, Kingsbridge Microfinance, and ASA Initiative.

Fellows Blog Posts by Susan Patterson

Dec 25, 2016 GH Ghana

One of the fun parts about a Kiva Fellowship is the chance to pick up new skills that may come in handy down the road. I’m happy to report that thanks to my work with Kiva partner ASA Initiative, I have not only mastered Clean Cookstoves 101 but can now add welding to my resume under “miscellaneous skills.”

In addition to offering business and agriculture loans, ASA is leading efforts to bring green energy to Ghana’s Central Region. Elsa...

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Dec 14, 2016 GH Ghana

I can still remember feeling overwhelmed the first time I made a Kiva loan. So many options, so many deserving Kiva borrowers — where to begin? I didn’t have a preference on region, country, or loan type, but I did know with certainty that I wanted to lend to a woman. 



Microlending was developed to give the un- and under-banked access to capital; those too...

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Nov 17, 2016 GH Ghana

Call it fate, divine intervention, or mere coincidence, life sometimes — quite unexpectedly — gives you exactly what you need at just the right time.


That was certainly the case for me last week after the U.S. elections. The results were not what I’d hoped for, and I found myself questioning, well, pretty much everything.

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Oct 25, 2016 GH Ghana

To say Chereponi is off the beaten path may be an understatement. I arrived in this tiny town in the Northern region of Ghana after driving nearly 90 km on a rutted dirt road from the small city of Yendi, which had taken nearly two hours to reach from Camfed Ghana’s office in Tamale. We were close enough that, had time allowed, I could have walked across the border to the neighboring country of Togo. But that wasn’t the purpose of my visit — I had a very special Kiva borrower to meet.

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Sep 29, 2016 GH Ghana

There are not many things I will get up at 4:30 a.m. for, but as it turns out, the chance to attend a Dagomba Outdooring ceremony is one of them. I had been invited by my housemate, a former Peace Corps volunteer who has lived in Ghana for seven years. A week earlier a new baby had been born to her host family, so when she invited me to spend a day in the village, I jumped at the chance. Since arriving in Ghana two weeks earlier to begin my Kiva fellowship I hadn’t seen much beyond the city of Tamale, and I was eager...

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