Jun 24, 2014 KE Kenya

Florence and her cow shed acquired with her Kiva loan
I will never forget the day I faced this existential question for the first time...   As a Kiva fellow, I was questioning Florence, an energetic farmer in her fifties, about her family, business, during borrower verifications in the tea plantations of Nkubu in Kenya.   Although she initially thought about buying dairy goats with her Kiva loan, she eventually decided to increase her existing cow productivity and her kids’ sanitation with it. She built a... Continue Reading >>


Jun 11, 2014 KE Kenya

Nowhere is the spirit of Entrepreneurship more rampant than in Gikomba market. Gikomba is the largest second-hand clothes market in East Africa. This open-air market located near the Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi is home to hundreds of traders.  The traders are small retailers that sell second-hand clothing they purchase from larger distributers for a small profit.  This is a bustling market and on any day, you can hear retailers shouting over each other trying to attract customers to their stall. Recently the market has been plagued with multiple disasters.  In mid-March... Continue Reading >>


Jun 2, 2014 KE Kenya

Our trustee Kelvin Wambugu from EcoZoom with their products
Over 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributed to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels. An estimated 25% of global CO2 emissions are generated by the rural poor – accounting for significantly more than all global transportation-related emissions combined. To address these problems, organizations such as EcoZoom, a Kiva Zip trustee in Kenya, bring clean-burning cookstoves (and other ecological products) to people in... Continue Reading >>


May 26, 2014 ZW Zimbabwe

So much unrest across Africa. From the tragedy of Nigeria’s Chibok girls stolen from their school, to the violence and terror overtaking Kenya, there are forces aligned that are determined to bind ...

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May 21, 2014 UG Uganda

John Bosco and me in his farm as he proudly holds up his Kiva Profile
Sitting across from John Bosco in the living room of his modest home in rural Uganda, I smiled as he introduced me to his two youngest children. He then told me how he’d used his Kiva loan to purchase fertilizer and a pesticide spray pump to improve his farm. When I asked him if he had any other sources of income he beamed proudly before reviewing his businesses: poultry, pigs, a fish pond, goat trading, and plantain and coffee farming. At 43 years... Continue Reading >>


May 20, 2014 KE Kenya

The Kiva Zip model, based on direct crowd funding from a lender to a borrower through a trustee, supports several key players in the clean technology sector.   Borrowers have access to 0% interest capital to acquire clean cookstoves, solar lamps, solar pumps or bio-digesters, setting themselves as successful entrepreneurs, developing their businesses, generating income and most importantly providing education to their children.   While lenders from around the world provide the capital, the trustees provide a range of training, mentorship and professional services to the borrowers,... Continue Reading >>


May 14, 2014 IN India

Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.” – UN WOMEN Few people will argue about the importance of women empowerment, and its positive impact in society and economy, but what is the gap between studies and speeches and what’s really happening on the ground? The election scene in India brought up new discussions about women's rights like safety... Continue Reading >>


May 13, 2014 GH Ghana

Old vans clog the streets of every city and village in Ghana.  So old their makes and models are incomprehensible to the untrained eye.  They come in swarming bunches on the street, packed to the brim, arms and heads hanging out of every open window available.  Hogging the lane, spewing toxic smoke from the back, sides, and even the front – they own every city they operate in.  When they swerve to get in your lane, you give it to them, because they never give way.  They are called the Tro Tro and obey no traffic laws accept the universal road rage law –... Continue Reading >>


May 12, 2014 KE Kenya

 

3 Must-Know Insights on Kenya, Football and the FIFA World Cup

 

Kenya is not one of the first 10 countries that come to mind when you think of a top class footbball team. It didn't qualify for this year's World Cup in Brazil. In fact, Kenya has never qualified to the FIFA World Cup. Rather, Kenya is well known for its world class rugby sevens squad and elite long distance runners.

Yet, many...

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May 9, 2014 UG Uganda

Visiting Vian in rural Uganda took us over questionable roads through what was once forest land.
Surrounding the lopsided, mangled dirt road was a verdant landscape of densely packed farmland. Maize filled one line of sight before giving way to plantain trees, which in turn were followed by beans, or sweet potatoes, and the occasional wetland with overgrown grass. The long visible stretch to the horizon though pointed out the relative absence of trees to interrupt the view. The driver, while navigating cavernous... Continue Reading >>


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