Traci was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii. While Hawaii is rich in beauty and way of life, growing up so far from the rest of the world fueled her desire to travel and learn from people of various cultures. After completing her undergraduate education, Traci moved to the Czech Republic where she taught English for one year. Having an innate interest in development, she later moved to Kenya where she created and managed a community-based preschool at Shalom IDP camp. While there, Traci became interested in economic and sustainable development, which naturally led to an interest in microfinance. In 2012, she began interning for Zidisha, a peer-to-peer microlending organization, and found herself back in Kenya for one more year. Her days were spent visiting entrepreneurs and ultimately learning from them about the intricacies and complexities of global poverty. This experience solidified Traci’s desire to seek a career in international development. She is currently completing her first year as an MPA student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is looking forward with great anticipation to returning to Kenya to contribute to Kiva’s mission.

Fellows Blog Posts by Traci Yoshiyama

Jul 28, 2014 KE Kenya

Village view from a matatu
As I approach the matatu stage I feel a bout of irritation.  Completely empty.  I am the first passenger to arrive, which undoubtedly means waiting for an indefinite amount of time until it is full and ready to head out.  I quickly text the Kiva borrower I am to visit to tell her I may be late.  Having been in this situation many times before, she messages me back with an understanding, “Don’t worry, you still come!”  I get in, pick the best seat, buy a few snacks... Continue Reading >>