Stories tagged with Uganda

Oct 10, 2010 UG Uganda

By Sarah Curl, KF 12 Uganda

It’s five thirty in the morning and my cell phone that functions as an alarm, telephone, clock and flashlight is going off.  The sound starts off soothing but gets more obnoxious as the minutes pass.  I reach out but my bed net is blocking my access to the blaring sound.  I fumble around the bed net and find some opening to reach out and turn my alarm off.  This morning is the start of a long day which consists of traveling to a branch that is five hours away.  As I quickly get up, I stumble around and find clothes that appear appropriate in the dark.  I...

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Sep 9, 2010 UG Uganda

By Sarah Curl, KF 12 Uganda

After eight weeks in the field, I have logged some serious hours in matatus and buses.  I thought I would share some of the things I come across on a day to day basis.   Here is a short observational video of Uganda.

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Please keep in mind that keeping a steady hand on a flip camera while on the back of a motorcycle or matatu is not an easy task.  I apologize in advance for...

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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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