Dec 8, 2014 VN Vietnam

Mrs. Yen outside her home
As a Kiva Fellow, I’ve had the delightful opportunity to visit a number of Kiva borrowers in their homes or places of work. These treks consisted of hopping in a car and hanging on while the driver used every opportunity to cut off vehicles in front of us; hopping on the back of a motorbike and weaving through city streets or driving down dirt roads, taking in the stunning views of fields outside the city; or taking a public bus where a conversation ensues with random passengers revolving... Continue Reading >>


Dec 4, 2014 US United States

Bennie, an Accion East client, at a construction site
When she started her construction business three years ago, Bennie was one of the few African-American female-led construction firms in the NYC area. Her business, Bennie Daye Services, provides home improvement and light construction services. By 2013, she had hired ten part-time contract workers and got her Women and Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) certification. Now, she could bid on larger government contracts. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New York... Continue Reading >>


Dec 2, 2014 KE Kenya

One of the highlights of the Kiva Fellowship is the opportunity to live somewhere far from home and learn about a new culture. I've met dozens of Kiva Zip trustees and borrowers during my three months in Kenya and unexpectedly forged a strong connection with one in particular. I first met Joseph* when he visited the Kiva office for a trustee interview. Joseph has an extensive background of community development and now continues his work as a pastor in Kenya, providing financial and educational services to his community. As a civic leader, he is a typical trustee that puts a great amount...

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Nov 28, 2014

If you ask a group of people what they consider to be the most impressive part about the Middle East, they’ll likely mention something regarding its historical sites or rich cultural diversity.  While both factors are obviously worthy of mention, what continues to inspire me about this region is something far more valuable: its women. This might come as a surprise to some, given that the widespread stereotype of the Middle Eastern woman often renders a submissive, taciturn figure consistently dominated by her male counterpart and - even worse - uninterested in improving... Continue Reading >>


Nov 25, 2014 US United States

Ferguson, the ‘F’ word that’s guaranteed to divide a room into defensive ideological camps along the lines of who was right, who was wrong, and how to make it better. Thanks to the barrage of media coverage since the shooting of teen Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9, the blinding national spotlight has caused St. Louis to acknowledge the ugly skeleton in our closet: racism is alive and well. The past 109 days of waiting and wondering built a powder keg of massive proportions. Stuffed full of racial tension, palpable fear, and citywide apprehension, the grand jury... Continue Reading >>


Nov 25, 2014 GO Global Update

This holiday season, let’s put our dollars where we want them- in the hands of the people building and shaping our communities.
Kimberly from Mimik Design Co.
Kiva Zip is asking YOU this week; in addition to supporting small businesses by “Shopping Small” on Saturday November 29th- we urge you to invest BIG. Invest your dollars in entrepreneurs all over the country funding loans through Kiva Zip. What’s the benefit to investing? For starters, you get your money back. I don’t think that purse is going to have that... Continue Reading >>


Nov 23, 2014 MM Myanmar

After two months of my fellowship at the Proximity Design, now it’s time to find out how microfinance is used in practice. I went together with the Kiva HQ staff to visit Tha Pyay Kan village in Pyapon Distric which is about 75 miles south of Yangon and serves as a center for collecting rice from the surrounding agricultural areas. It took us three hours by car and another hour by boat to reach the village.

This is how people live. I wonder how it looks inside.
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Nov 21, 2014 GO Global Update

If you’re thinking about becoming a Kiva Fellow, there are a few invaluable skills you should develop prior to entering the field. This list has been tested and compiled based on multiple fellows’ experiences. If you can nail all five of these skills, you are on your way to becoming an excellent fellow. You’ll do Kiva proud.   1.     The ability to shower in a bucket.   The skill: It’s very likely that at some point during your fellowship, water for a shower will be unavailable. Sometimes for days. Sometime for weeks. To avoid completely... Continue Reading >>


Nov 21, 2014 PY Paraguay

So we've all been there. At least I have. I'm starting up the Kiva website to go look for a new borrower to support. I might click on one of the pictures right on the homepage, because something catches my attention. A smile, an animal that snuck onto the image, a background that looks intriguing. But I'd quickly get on to the filters, and the first one I check is always the same: only show me loans of women borrowers. How discriminatory, right? So like I said, I'm guilty of the same crime, but instead of just arguing with gender equality, let me give you two good reasons to support a...
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Nov 20, 2014 MW Malawi

Mary, a role model for others in her group and town.
Mary is 38 years old and mother to a 7 year old child.  

 

In just over 2 years she has gone from selling vegetables at the roadside to being the proud owner of a hair salon with 2 employees, and has plans to open another shop in the near future.

 

“I always wanted a hairdressing salon.  At first, whilst still selling vegetables, I diversified...

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