Nov 11, 2014 US United States

"Balloon Flower" by Koons
There are two very fun parts about my Kiva fellowship: working in NYC and interacting with Kiva lenders about Accion East clients.
"Red Cube" by Noguchi
I have been a Kiva lender since 2011, but it wasn’t until I joined Accion East as a fellow that I started participating in Kiva lending teams. When an Accion East staff member asked me what a lending team was, I said “basically, you can talk to and lend with people... Continue Reading >>


Nov 10, 2014 US United States

Statue of Liberty
Kiva lenders make loans to individuals seeking to improve their business. They support expanding access to capital for these entrepreneurs. Most people know Kiva for its work across the globe – but did you know that includes the US? Kiva works with US-based microfinance institutions to address the lack of access to capital small businesses face around the world. In the US, we hear a lot about the importance of small businesses. The vast majority of these small businesses employ fewer than ten... Continue Reading >>


Nov 9, 2014 GH Ghana

Life under a mosquito net is anything but ordinary; it’s extraordinary. You may think of it as simply an encased existence for the sole purpose of rest without interruption from animals (I would say insects, but that doesn’t include reptiles) that have the potential to disturb your sleep or pass along potential ailments…but it’s so much more than that.
A Life of Royalty
First, let’s consider the preparation that goes into constructing this life. After purchasing a (hopefully) sizeable net, it should then be... Continue Reading >>


Nov 8, 2014 KE Kenya

For my Kiva Fellowship I was very lucky to have been placed with One Acre Fund, one of Kiva’s Field Partners in Kenya. I have been in this beautiful country serving as a Fellow for a month and a half, learning about microfinance and its impact at a local level and... I think it’s time for an update!
About One Acre Fund
One Acre Fund is a non-profit organization that supplies smallholder farmers with the tools and financing they need to grow their way out of hunger and poverty....
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Nov 7, 2014 XK Kosovo

Here’s a pop quiz question: how do you find a borrower in rural Kosovo? How about when no one has their address, and the loan officer handling their case has left the microfinance partner organization you’re working with? Part of a Kiva Fellow’s job is to conduct something called a borrower verification, or BV. A BV is an audit of sorts; fellows are tasked with tracking down ten borrowers and checking to make sure that the information that Kiva has on file matches reality. The tricky part is that borrowers can be difficult to find. This is particularly true in Kosovo, where, if granted the... Continue Reading >>


Nov 5, 2014 NI Nicaragua

A severe drought has affected Nicaragua during 2014 on what is thought to be the worst in the last three decades. In response, rural communities have started managing their natural resources better and designed strategies to implement a change in rural Nicaragua. During one of my visits to a borrower I found an inspiring story of a group of women having training sessions on food preparation and cooking tips. They mainly work with three native products that grow abundantly in central Nicaragua: Pejibaye, Yuca, Quequisque.
...
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Nov 3, 2014 AZ Azerbaijan

The modern Baku skyline
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Kiva fellow is travelling to remote towns and villages and meeting borrowers whose lives are impacted by our loans. Recently I had my first field trip in Azerbaijan and would like to share some observations and stories. Leaving the Baku cityscape behind you everything quickly turns rural and much more basic. Go beyond the main highway and up any narrow side track and you are transported back in time to a land where the horse and cart is more common... Continue Reading >>


Oct 31, 2014 MW Malawi

Sunset at Cape Maclear
The warm afternoon sun hits my face and instantly relaxes me. After almost 20 hours of travel across multiple times zones, I’m tired but happy to have finally arrived. I’m in Malawi for my posting with Kiva.org, the micro finance company, and I realize it’s exactly 10 years ago to the month that I was last in the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’.  Making my way towards town, I constantly scan the horizon and landscape around me looking for a familiar landmark, a sign or road, anything recognizable... Continue Reading >>


Oct 28, 2014 KE Kenya

One of the best parts of the Kiva Fellowship is the anticipation while awaiting the location of your placement, which could be nearly anywhere Kiva loans are available. Wouldn’t it be great to stroll by the Taj Mahal on the way to work, gallop on horseback through the plains of Mongolia, or take in a sunset on a Samoan beach?

Then on a beautiful July afternoon, I almost physically jumped for joy when offered the opportunity to work in Kiva...

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Oct 22, 2014 ID Indonesia

This past Monday, October 20th, I celebrated with tens of thousands of Indonesians in Jakarta to welcome their 7th President, Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, as he’s affectionately called. Jokowi is the first directly-elected Indonesian president who is not tied to the political or military elite dated back to the Suharto era. He rose to success from poor family background by building a furniture export business in his hometown Solo. He had to borrow money (just like a Kiva borrower!) to start his business and failed several times before he found success. He later became the Mayor of Solo in 2005 and... Continue Reading >>


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