Stories tagged with Uganda

Sep 9, 2010 AZ Azerbaijan

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”- RFK

The first news reports on BBC, New York Times, and AP said that the bomb went off at 8:10 in the morning. I swear though, that I heard it at 8:04. It’s not every day that a young American not serving in the armed forces...

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Sep 9, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda

I’ve now been in Uganda for 5 months, and today is the last day of my Kiva Fellowship.  Naturally the fellowship has had its ups and downs, but on the whole I’ve had a fantastic experience here working with Kiva, BRAC Uganda, and MCDT SACCO.  I feel very privileged to have gotten the chance to see how microfinance really works on the ground, and how it impacts the lives of borrowers.  Along the way I’ve amassed a few thoughts about my time here, Kiva’s operations, and microfinance in general, which I’ve...

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Sep 9, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda


Do microfinance loans actually improve the lives of borrowers? This is an enormous question, and one that’s notoriously difficult to measure.  In an earlier post on social performance, I mentioned some of the issues involved with trying to obtain such a metric (chiefly: it’s expensive, it may ignore hard-to-measure social benefits of borrowing, and it’s tough to isolate microfinance loans as the sole reason a borrower’s income increases/decreases).  But despite those challenges, if microfinance is...

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Sep 9, 2010 UG Uganda

By Sarah Curl, KF12 Uganda

Prior to finding myself in the middle of Uganda,  I had the opportunity to be an intern at Kiva Headquarters in San Francisco working in the Customer Service Department for the past seven months.  I talked and emailed with lenders daily about everything from their excitement and sometimes disappointment with microfinance to needing their password changed on their Kiva account.  If you emailed contactus@kiva.org between the months of November through May, most likely I communicated with you.  Talking to thousands of lenders during my time at Kiva...

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Aug 8, 2010 UG Uganda

By Sarah Curl, KF12 Uganda

I have spent the last two weeks in Kampala, Uganda learning how to adapt to a country that is very different from the one I’ve known for the last twenty-three years.  It has taken some patience, some meltdowns and some courage to continue on.  In the last two weeks, I have had my luggage lost, been chased by a crazy man with a branch and peed on by a child on a mini-bus.

When I arrived in Entebbe, Uganda after traveling for over twenty-four hours from Los Angeles to Detroit to Amsterdam and finally to Entebbe, I found out my luggage was...

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Aug 8, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda

For the regular visitors to the Kiva Fellows blog, I’m sure you have a good idea of how microfinance works and how Kiva fits in to the bigger picture.  However, newer visitors may be less familiar with some of the basic characteristics of the field.  With that in mind, I’ve created a “top 10” list of (hopefully) helpful facts about microfinance and Kiva’s operations:

1. Microfinance delivers financial services to poor individuals

Microfinance specifically offers services to those who don’t have adequate...

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Aug 8, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda

One of the neat things about my work as a Kiva Fellow has been the interest in microfinance it prompts for many of the local Ugandans I interact with.  I often talk about my work with BRAC Uganda and MCDT SACCO with my neighbors, the boda-boda drivers who take me to work, and a few local food vendors who I’ve gotten to know relatively well.  Though these people understand the basic concept of microfinance, they still view it as something of an aid intervention, whereby you have to be poor and actually...

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Jul 7, 2010 UG Uganda

By Drew Loizeaux, KF11, Uganda

When talking to people about microfinance, many times the poverty level of the clients is brought up as a big way to measure an organization’s success.  I felt this way for a long time and it makes sense. We have all heard stories of a poor farmer expanding his business or a “phone women” in a Bangladeshi village.  As I have spent more time at microfinance institutions however, I’ve realized that view is incomplete. Yes, empowering the poor is a very important part of microfinance, but they are only a subsection of the really important group...

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Jul 7, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda

I have now started the phase in my Kiva Fellowship when I will be working with MCDT SACCO, a relatively small MFI located in Kampala, Uganda.  MCDT lends to clients based on the Grameen Bank methodology – to take out loans, borrowers form groups that collectively guarantee each member’s loan.  If one member misses a repayment or defaults, the other members of the group are responsible for that individual’s loan amount.  MCDT’s clients come primarily from the peri-urban...

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Jul 7, 2010 UG Uganda

By Drew Loizeaux, KF11 Uganda

Conversations about microfinance are a near daily occurrence in the life of a Kiva Fellow. Sometimes they are with happy recipients of loans and other times they are with skeptics who question its value or impact. No matter what the topic or tone, I always learn something new and usually leave with an even stronger commitment to microfinance than before. In hopes to relay this experience, I want to share with you a recent sampling of some of the conversations I have found myself in.

Last week, I was in the field doing a borrower...

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