Dien Bien, the day before Christmas, As I wrap up my fellowship in Vietnam, I guess the best part of being a Kiva fellow that I have experienced so many odd events. Such as, coincidentally celebrated 5-year partnership with Kiva and Fund for Poor Thanh Hoa Women or worked with "latrine experts" at East Meets West. It feels like I relearn everything I knew before, Vietnam under a different perspective. 4 months pass by fast enough to make me realize that I haven’t been able to help... Continue Reading >>
R.E.M once sang about “Losing My Religion”. I was told that when someone uses this expression, it means that they’re going “loco”. Oftentimes, religions that are practiced can bring a sense of serenity to an individual that carnal desires cannot. People sacrifice their bodies, their vices, and even their dreams for a spot in the afterlife. Or, perhaps to save souls from being condemned to a fate unbeknownst to even the most pessimistic fatalists. Here in Mexico, I can assure you that nobody is losing his or her religion, figuratively or literally. The... Continue Reading >>
The work of a Kiva Fellow is busy and varied, but we also like to take in the sights while we are abroad. One week this fall, I was able to spend a week with not one, but two other Kiva-ites. Kiva Fellows Program Coordinator Shana Soltani came to Armenia to observe Liz Fish, Kiva Media Fellow, and me. We had a great week of meeting borrowers and talking with the field partners, and on the weekend, we decided to visit 2 very interesting historical places near Yerevan: Garni and Gerhard. Continue Reading >>
Moses Ojwang grew up in Kibera and experienced firsthand the need to develop leadership and catalyze change among the slum’s youth. In 2008, he made improving his community a full-time career by joining Carolina for Kibera (CFK), an NGO partnered with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Kiva Zip. CFK works to expand opportunity for all residents in Kibera, and more specifically, to help them become economically independent.
The organization offers three comprehensive categories of service to the community: (1) a free to low-cost health...Continue Reading >>
My first work trip with Kiva started early at 4AM on a Sunday and ended with me flying back to Dar es Salaam 5 days later checking a bucket of fresh fish on the airplane. The goal - train 2 of Tujijenge's branches in the Lake Zone on the Kiva process. The taxi picked me up and 4 AM and I was headed to the Lake Zone for 5 days to train 2 branches on the Kiva process with my co-worker Yessya. Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest... Continue Reading >>
Over the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of working with Liz Fish, Kiva Media Fellow, in Armenia. Liz has come with me on borrower verifications, and I have come with her on media visits. Together we have met more borrowers than either one of us would have alone. Working in the offices of SEF and Nor Horizon, Kiva’s partners in Armenia, is great because it is obvious that the staff at both feel passionate about their work in helping low-income Armenians improve their businesses, expand their agriculture, and get an education. As satisfying as the office work is, it... Continue Reading >>