A warm welcome to the Kiva Fellows Blog! I would like to introduce myself to you, my name is Ashley King-Bischof. As one of the last KF7 Fellows to arrive in the field, I make my way to Bamenda, Cameroon with much anticipation and excitement. My travels to Cameroon started in the San Francisco Bay Area and will last more than a couple of days before arriving to my final destination. The first part of my trek was across North America to New York City, where I am now. From there I have a longer red-eye to London, a quick jet over to Zurich and then another flight to Douala, Cameroon. As a last, and probably the most crowded trip, I have a red-eye bus ride to Bamenda. A lot, right?!
There is a reason for that; there are no direct flights from the United States to Cameroon. I had no choice but to layover in a third-party country. Ironically though, a loan to an entrepreneur in Cameroon can be fundraised faster than the time it takes me to get there by plane. Kiva’s online platform bypasses the need for a lender to meet face to face with its borrower in order to give them credit. Instead, with a click of a mouse, their loan can have the same, positive effect through the internet. It blows my mind to think of how Kiva will affect the lives of people over time with this method; the possibilities are endless. That said, my opportunity as a Kiva Fellow still requires me to layover in Europe, and although it will take some time to get to Cameroon, the wait sure does make me appreciate Kiva’s online immediacy.
With a flight or two to go, I look forward to being a Kiva Fellow in Cameroon!
You can check out the MFI I will be working with, GHAPE. They have been working with Kiva for 2 years now.