KADET, Naivasha Branch: Me, Fridah, Pauline, Mildred, Stellah, Mike, Rose, Alice



I know Thanksgiving is a proper American holiday. Yet, Americans are certainly not the only people who have much to be thankful for.  Like Christina Magro (a fellow Kiva Fellow in Nicaragua)  eloquently highlighted, microfinance officers play a vital role in the Kiva process but their efforts can go undetected by the Kiva community.


While setting up a new process to collect Kiva loan profiles via Nexus 7 tablets with KADET's staff in the wet and lush area of Lake Naivasha, I realized these people had invaluable experiences and insights on how Kiva loans had impacted their borrowers' lives. So, I decided to ask the diligent and generous KADET staff a few things about their experiences as microfinance professionals. 

I witnessed something I had briefly thought of but hadn't fully appreciated.Not only did I hear more impactful stories of the lives of borrower's but also how Kiva loans can indirectly provide job opportunites for women in Kenya through our partners. As Mike (the only male in this office) points out, Kiva capital assists KADET (and other Kiva Partners) to thrive as an employer.


View of Lake Naivasha and Mt. Longonot in the Rift Valley

Below are the brief conversations I had with each of the staff members at Naivasha. As some might say, it was "real talk" about how Kiva loans affect borrowers' and MFOs' lives:
 

Rose
Naivasha Branch Manager:

What do you like about your job?
It has helped me interact with different people in new ways. I like being a leader as I get to train and equip others. I like helping others achieve their goals.  

What do you like about working in microfinance?
Its great to empower the poor that need help. They prefer to come to us because we accept them as they are. The banks require too much from them that they do not have. Its an advantage we have to be able to assist them the way they are.

If you met a Kiva lender what would you tell them?
We are happy for the work they are doing. Our customers are happy for their help. It actually mobilizes other people to come and get loans because they see that there is someone who cares enough to help them through financing.


What are you grateful for?
I am thankful to be able to support an orphan who lives in Nairobi and is 7 years old. He doesn't know me but I heard about him through a friend at his school.
(On top of working in microfinance she also decided to informally support this child with food and school fees!)


 

Fridah
Credit Officer:

What do you like about your job?
I like helping people from being poor to improving their lives.

What do you like about working in microfinance?
To gain more work experience

If you met a Kiva lender what would you tell them?
I would congratulate them and ask them to help us more!

Would you have any questions to Kiva lenders?
Can they increase their loan amounts?

Do you recall a memorable story of a borrower?
I helped somebody who was misplaced, and now she has her own home. She was misplaced due to post election violence [in 2007]. She can now provide for her family. She was able to buy a plot of land with the loan , where she built a home for her kids. Now she has a small business that has also been partially financed by KADET.  

What are you grateful for?
I am grateful that our clients are able to provide for their families because of the loans we provide them. I am also grateful for my social life and mind that have grown because of this job.


A memorable sight near Naivasha: Commuter looking at road-side produce stand

 

Mildred
Management Information System Officer:

What do you like about your job?
I play a part in improving the livelihood of our clients. I play an important role in doing timely work so that loans are processed faster.

If you met a Kiva lender what would you tell them?
I would give a big thank to lenders for going out of their way to giving money to our clients. Its helpful to KADET for them to give us money in order to help our clients.

Would you have any questions to Kiva lenders?
Could you come over and visit us in Kenya?

Do you recall a memorable story of a borrower?
There was a client who first started selling charcoal with a KADET loan. Now he has a chain of businesses: rental homes, hotel . Now he has a loan of 1 million [Kenyan shillings]. (Note: 

What are you grateful for?
I am greatful to God for the opportunity to work for KADET and to be able to meet many different people.
 

Pauline
Credit Officer:

What do you like about your job?
I am able to interact with all sorts of people, including the poor.

What do you like about working in microfinance?
I like working with women that are initially very poor and almost cannot feed their family. Then after the loan they are able to provide better for their family.

Do you recall a memorable story of a borrower?
A gentleman I worked with initially could barely provide for his family. Now he is on his 3rd KADET loan and he is using his motorcycle to repay his loan and build on his plot of land.

What are you grateful for?
I am greatful for the opportunity to work at KADET that has given me the opportunity to start at an entry level position and I am growing and doing well.
 

Farmers working hard to promote their produce whenever a car pull overs near a road-side produce market.

 

Stellah
Customer Service Administrator:

What do you like about your job?
When I am rendering my services to clients and they show satisfaction of the services rendered to them.

What do you like about working in microfinance?
Because they provide financial services to low income earners thereby contributing towards poverty reduction in the community.

If you met a Kiva lender what would you tell them?
I would congratulate them on the partnership they have towards impacting the community positively.

Would you have any questions to Kiva lenders?
Yes. Are the Kiva lenders in partnership with other organization or only Kadet ltd?

Do you recall a memorable story of a borrower?
Yes. Clients often narrate their life experience and how their life situations have changed positively through accessing loans to establish their businesses.

What are you grateful for?
For being who I am and having the opportunity to impact other people’s lives either directly or indirectly.
 

Mike
Accountant:

What do you like about your job?
This job is challenging , involving and keeps me busy. Its giving me new skills as I am learning new systems. I also like indirectly contributing to the work KADET is doing that is helping people's livelihoods.

What do you like about working in microfinance?
I enjoy working as part of a organization that is helping the needy, and improving children's lives. I am part of a great organization.

If you met a Kiva lender what would you tell them?
I would tell them to keep impacting people's lives because it is helping us out. They are helping needy people that are working hard to achieve their goals. You are really helping people help themselves and not relying on the government to help them.

I am very grateful for Kiva for their generosity as it has also helped KADET be able to employ people like me. Its great to see people who can lend do so, because here in Africa it is rare to find people that are able and willing to volunteer or donate money.   

Would you have any questions to Kiva lenders?
How are you sustaining yourself? Where do you get your money that you can lend for 0%?

Do you recall a memorable story of a borrower?
There is a client who was refusing to pay the loan. So we visited him at his home. We realized how pitiable his home was as it was so small and dirty. It housed his family of 5. So we decided to give him a grace period that he is currently still in. Its very impactful to see the conditions that people live in and the situations that our borrowers may find themselves. Sometimes their businesses don't perform and they are unable to repay. Its impactful to see them struggle.

What are you grateful for?
I am grateful that I am alive! I am lucky to be employed by KADET as it is very hard to find a job in Kenya. I am glad to be past my probation period and to work for such a great company.

 

On a previous trip to Lake Naivhasha, I was able to cruise in the volcanic lake that is home to thousands of flamingos!

 
I am grateful for the priviledge to meet the microfinance professionals who dedicate their lives to providing a hand up and not hand outs through Kiva loans!

Show your gratitude by making a life-impacting Kiva loan!




 
Entry filed under: 

Add Your Comments

David was born and raised in El Centro, California near the Mexican border, which allowed him to grow up with an appreciation of multiple cultures and perspectives. Los Angeles is his second home after attending UCLA and working for a stock research company as a consultant. During David’s time at the University of California, Los Angeles, his interest in global affairs, traveling, foreign cultures and international development grew significantly, albeit without clear focus on what to do with that interest. As a consultant, he was able to grow his investing knowledge, become more interested in financial services and innovative technology. David decided to combine his interest in international development and financial services and pursue microfinance. This lead him to diligently study microfinance and volunteer as a Young Ambassador for Opportunity through Opportunity International. David hopes his experience as a Kiva Fellow will be just the beginning of a long career in microfinance.