Stories tagged with Uganda

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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Jun 6, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda

One of the newer fields that’s getting more attention within microfinance is trying to measure microfinance institutions’ (MFIs) social performance, which broadly is an indication of how well an MFI meets the social goals outlined in its mission and vision.  Social performance is reflected in a wide range of indicators, including:

  • an MFI’s policies towards employees, like providing health care or maternity leave;
  • to what degree an MFI targets the poorest of the poor for financial services;
  • ...
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Jun 6, 2010 UG Uganda

By Drew Loizeaux, KF11, Uganda

As many of you know group loans are widely used throughout the microfinance industry. Most of you also know that the idea behind group loans is to provide a way to secure loans without having to rely on collateral like banks do. But do you know about the different type of group loans? Do you know where and why they are used?  If not, up your microfinance IQ and read on.

****NOTE: At each microfinance institution (MFI) there will be differences in names and details of loans, so as I describe...

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Jun 6, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda


Starting this coming week, BRAC Uganda will begin posting a new loan product onto the Kiva website.  This new product will fund borrowers in BRAC Uganda’s Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA) program, and gives Kiva lenders the chance to invest in an exciting new sector within microfinance.

These new ELA loans are unique because the borrowers are actually adolescents, usually young women aged 16-21 who have dropped out of or never attended school.  Many of these borrowers are too...

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Jun 6, 2010 UG Uganda

By Drew Loizeaux, KF11, Uganda

I’m pleased to introduce HOFOKAM to the Kiva community. HOFOKAM is based out of Fort Portal, Uganda and maintains four branch offices that serve over 15,000 clients. HOFOKAM focuses most of its efforts on serving rural clients in the western part of the country.

Hofokam's Headquarters

Originally three different organizations, HOFOKAM was formed in 2003 by the merging of separate projects of the Catholic Dioceses from...

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Jun 6, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda

Kiva funds are a great thing for microfinance institutions (MFIs) operating overseas because they come in the form of “no-interest” loans.  Unlike traditional sources of financial capital like large banks, which may charge upwards of 10% on their loans, Kiva is able to loan funds at 0% thanks to:

  • Kiva lenders’ willingness to invest without an expected financial return, but simply the social return of empowering entrepreneurs in the developing world
  • Kiva lenders’ willingness to make additional...
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May 5, 2010 UG Uganda

“Just look around, you can see all of our problems. It will take Africa at least 250 years to catch up to the West.”

This statement comes from a Kenyan man whom I met about two years ago while traveling through East Africa. I was passing through Kisumu, Kenya, at the time and somehow got into a conversation with this man at our backpacker restaurant/bar area. He was a Master’s student in Nairobi, home for a week to visit his family, and this hour-long conversation really opened my eyes to a number of different issues.

Now I’m not the...

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