“I just want to be a successful business woman,” Sandra says when asked what she hopes to achieve in the next 2-3 years.
She already is. In fact, she is the most successful agent working with Zoona--a mobile money/transactions company that allows individuals to send and receive money over their phones using the conversion of cash into electronic value, and electronic value back into cash. Zoona relies on a distrubuted network of agents, like Sandra, who operate businesses that provide the cash in/out capability.
Sandra opened her first mobile transactions shop in 2010 and now has expanded to four!She is dominating the market in Kitwe, the second largest city in Zambia and the mining center of the Copperbelt Province. And she's only 26.
Zoona staff say it’s her attitude that puts her above the rest. She would open her first shop at 7am while others opened at 8am. And despite her success, she's never given herself a raise! She puts all of the profits back into the business in order to expand.
Kerosene is the primary source of light for over a billion people on the planet. Its fumes can cause health problems for those that use it frequently (sometimes children, studying after dark), and the long-run costs can reach a quarter of a family’s income.
From Azerbaijan, another photo blog! This time, no politics, no opinions - just spectacular views of one of the best regions on the planet. Photos from the northern towns of Sheki, Zaqatala, Qax, and a couple from Georgia.
Having lived here for three months now, it's easy to forget how oblivious I was of this country before I arrived. Few even know where Azerbaijan is on a map. You (just about every one of you) has never and probably will never see this place.
The website of a foreign-owned diamond mining company in Sierra Leone states, "Our Diamonds Doing Good: Follow our progress as we demonstrate that responsible and sustainable diamond mining can - and will - elevate and empower the people, the economy, and the country of Sierra Leone."
During my second week in Sierra Leone as a Kiva Fellow, I visited Kono district where this company - among others - bases its operations, and if this trip has taught me anything, it is that there is little evidence that diamond mining has brought any positive changes to the local community, or even has the best intentions of doing so in the future.
A diamond mining pit in Kono district in Sierra Leone