Stories tagged with All

Oct 10, 2009 PH Philippines

By Ed Coambs, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Bacolod Philippines


It is time to smile! That’s right Bacolod, Philippines has a festival that is committed to smiling. After all the city is also known as the city of smiles. I have had the distinct please of witnessing bright colors, load music and smelling chicken roasting on an open BBQ.

During the third week of October every year...

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Oct 10, 2009

By Mohammed Al-Shawaf, KF9 Palestine


I’ve been in Palestine for one week and have feared for my life.  Have I reinforced the stereotype yet?  It might be surprising to learn that the only times I have actually felt scared here have been dodging reckless drivers, not bullets.

But that’s me.  On my first day in the field I learned an important lesson: risks are calculated and danger is in the eye of the beholder.

I witnessed the...

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Oct 10, 2009 KE Kenya

By Anne Hector, KF9 Kenya

When last I posted (, I was preparing to plunge into Nairobi traffic with the redoubtable intern, Mary Chege, to visit  the Kitengela branch to gather up loans and work with the lending officers on Kiva postings.

Kitengela is a small town of approximately 8000 located one hour southeast of Nairobi.  Once Mary and I successfully navigated our way there, one of SMEP’s local loan officers, Winnie Mwiti, took us out for the day on her usual rounds.  I had never been to a group...

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Oct 10, 2009 AM Armenia

By Brian Kelly, KF9, Armenia

So after being in Armenia for almost two weeks,  I have to say the introduction was a little tougher than imagined.  As a preface, I don’t speak Armenian and I don’t speak Russian, both of which are the primary languages used here.  English is everywhere at my MFI, but not too present elsewhere, other than the really western-style restaurants and cafes.  So adapting to a new alphabet has been a challenge, as I see this foreign script all over a menu, and then a bunch of numbers.  Then I point at something, similar to google’s...

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Oct 10, 2009 RW Rwanda

By Gavin Sword, KF9 Rwanda

I am really enjoying working with my MicroFinance Institution today – I think it’s worth reporting this because there have been some low moments leading up to this point.  But today, I am really experiencing that the people at Vision Finance Company (VFC) are all here doing the best they can with the resources of the organization.   Management is highly capable with far reaching ambitions for VFC in Rwanda.  They are committed to Vision Finance Company’s mission to help the poorer people in the country that need and deserve access to...

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Oct 10, 2009 KE Kenya

by Rachel Brooks, KF9, Kenya

Faulu Kenya, where I recently began as a Fellow, has a full-time Kiva Coordinator, Zachary Muriithi. He’s a busy guy. He works long hours at Faulu, manages his several small farms, helps run a home for 24 orphans, and preaches on Sunday. He has old and new friends wherever we go and has become an active user of Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.

Still, Pastor Zach was excited for our first big task: completing a borrower verification process. We randomly picked ten of Faulu’s Kiva borrowers for a mini-audit and then...

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Oct 10, 2009 MX Mexico

By Julie Pachico, KF9 Mexico

I said in my first post that I wanted to keep my eyes and ears open, especially in terms of how “la crisis” has been affecting the lives of Kiva borrowers in Nuevo Laredo. Most of the clients I’ve interviewed for journals have definitely commented (quite emphatically at times) that business these days has been certainly tough. What’s surprised me, though, has been the number of clients I’ve met whose struggles are more due to random acts of life or just plain bad luck, rather than the...

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Oct 10, 2009 MX Mexico

By Julia Kastner, KF9 Mexico

This week, I visited a Kiva group loan called Peña Blanca at the top of a mountain.  Sometimes you can drive up to the top, but when it rains, the stones that make up the path can come loose and it can be dangerous.  So the Fundación Realidad loan officer and I climbed the four hours up the hill to see how the loan was going.

I documented some of our journey so you can get an idea of what it was like!

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Oct 10, 2009 SL Sierra Leone

By Jenny E. Kim, Sierra Leone

My taxi driver Sharif is a 001– he eats 0 breakfast, 0 lunch, and 1 dinner.  First started by university students in Freetown, classmates used the labeling system to identify those who were able to share meals and those who could not.  The system is a reminder that in Sierra Leone access to basics necessities are limited.  Food, clean water, roads, and electricity are all challenges.  As the local currency continues its downward trajectory, in no other way does the average Sierra Leonean feel the economic pressures more than he does with...

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Oct 10, 2009 TG Togo

By Nick Malouin, KF9 Togo

While most of the other Kiva fellows had already been in the field for two weeks, I was at home in Toronto feeling a little left out and getting increasingly jealous. Well, I’m finally here! In Lome, Togo that is, after 3 flights and countless bad movies I arrived late Saturday night. My final destination is Kpalimé, 2 hours north of Lomé, where I will be working for three months with FECECAV, an MFI that targets under-served...

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