Stories tagged with Uganda

Nov 11, 2009 UG Uganda

by Jed Goldstein, KF9, Uganda

After a 10 hr bus journey to Kihihi from Kampala on bumpy dirt roads, it was Aaron Coplands Rodeo ballet that began to play in my mind as I stepped off the bus and began to explore the town that lay before me. Kihihi is the modern Ugandan version of the wild American west that Copland so effectively captures in his compositions. As I explored a bit, I could not help but compare the roars of dirtbikes rolling down the muddy thoroughfare to the click-clock sound made by a horse’s hooves. The expansiveness of the terrain, combined with the...

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Oct 10, 2009 UG Uganda

By: Jed Goldstein (KF9, Uganda)

Hi my name is Jed Goldstein and this is my first blog post as a Kiva Fellow. I arrived in Uganda 4 days ago on Saturday afternoon and began work with Pearl Microfinance on Monday. So far I have felt incredibly “welcome.” I surround “welcome” with quotation marks because meeting someone new and introducing yourself in Uganda is a serious act not to be taken lightly.

The first phase of introduction requires a firm handshake and a level of prolonged eye contact. If you are strong enough to make it through the mini staring contest a local...

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Aug 8, 2009 UG Uganda

by Grace Nattoolo , Kiva Coordinator at Pearl Microfinance in Uganda

I know and believe so, that many have been wondering about Grace, and her blog postings. Yes, I have taken some months without blogging but good enough, the interesting stories about the clients’ businesses and social lives still appear on the website for you to read and fund if possible.

...

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Aug 8, 2009 KE Kenya

By Jaclyn Berfond, Laura Buhler, Alison Carlman, Joel Carlman and Cameron Morris

Last weekend the East African Kiva Fellows delegation descended upon the bustling streets of Kampala, Uganda and the banks of the Nile River for two days of intense knowledge transfer and mild revelry. We spent hours discussing the importance of data validity in performing operational cost analyses and tried to debunk the myth that OpenOffice does not properly save .csv files for uploading repayment information to PA2. We also had a little fun. We left Kampala feeling...

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May 5, 2009 UG Uganda

At the beginning of April, Grace and I began an effort to decentralize the Kiva process at Pearl. This is the formal way of saying that we planned to visit the branches and carry out a training program that would make the Kiva process such that we would no longer be required to rip our skirts, miss spending time with our families and friends and spend 4-8 hours per day bumping along the roads of Uganda in taxis (the minibuses that Grace wrote about in a previous post).

One of...

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Apr 4, 2009 UG Uganda

Sometimes, when interviewing the entrepreneurs from Pearl Microfinance, Uganda, I am startled to discover how many businesses they have. They are teachers with a few milk cows on the side, or used clothing salespeople who also keep pigs, or farmers who also raise cassava, matoke, and chickens! These ‘super entrepreneurs’ amaze me, but I am always left wondering why do they choose to have so many businesses. Wouldn’t it be better for them to focus just one? Each cycle they could inject all their loan money into one business and it would take off!

As is typical when I am making...

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Apr 4, 2009 UG Uganda

Thank you for all the loans you make to Kiva. As a Kiva Fellow, I get the joy of receiving the gratitude that is truly meant for all of you.

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of meeting Florence Musola at a loan disbursement for the Balikyewunya Borrower’s Group. She was one of the first members to arrive at the meeting, so we were able to carry out a lengthy interview while the other members trickled in. It was fortunate that we got started early because Florence had lots to tell us about being a florist in Kampala, Uganda.

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Mar 3, 2009 UG Uganda

To understand the interest rate that Pearl Microfinance charges its clients takes more than a brief look at a few numbers.

If you ask someone at Pearl what the interest rate is on Pearl loans, they will tell you “2.5%.” This means that there is a 2.5% per month interest rate. 2.5% interest is charged on the original loan amount rather than the balance remaining – in technical terms this is a flat interest rate rather than a declining interest rate. With a flat interest rate, over in a year, the clients would be charged 30% of the original loan size, and with the declining balance...

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Mar 3, 2009 UG Uganda

In a previous post, I mentioned that many clients of microfinance pledge real items not just their reputations as collateral on their loans. (Please see “A message from Uganda” for a more in depth discussion of the idea.) A comment was made that asked a few interesting questions. I started to directly reply on the post, but realized that the answers were long and that they might be interesting to others.

(As a side note — those of us who are writing on this Blog love hearing your comments on our postings. Please comment if you are so inspired, especially if you have...

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Mar 3, 2009 UG Uganda

Last week I had my first trip to the field. I traveled with Grace, the Kiva Coordinator here at Pearl Microfinance, to two branches in western Uganda, Lugazi and Jinja. Lugazi is about 2 hours away from the office and Jinja is about 40 minutes down the road and across the Nile from Lugazi.

The area between Kampala and these two areas looks shockingly like New England. Having spent many of my summers driving through the wooded areas of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, I found myself drifting back to blueberry pancakes for breakfast as I sat sweating from the heat and close...

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