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Jun 6, 2009 KE Kenya

Joel Carlman – Kisumu, Kenya – KF8

Hello from Kisumu, Kenya! After 36 hours of flying and several very sound nights of sleep, I’m writing you from the offices of Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (K-MET), our Kiva field partner! I say our because I have the privilege of working alongside my wife, Alison Carlman throughout our Kiva Fellowship. What an experience!

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Jun 6, 2009

At the fellows training some of my companeros seemed shocked that I’d want to do a fellowship in one of the most expensive cities in the world. I have to admit, I admire the cost of a Terere in Paraguay compared to price of latte in NYC. Regardless, it’s been an incredible experience to participate with Kiva on the US launch.

In many ways the fellowship, the entreprenuers, even New York City itself has at times seemed enormously comparable to a fellowship in a developing country (I mean have you used the subways here!!!???).  But about the cause…

Why US...

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Jun 6, 2009 PE Peru

In a desperate last-minute attempt to get my name off the top of the “least-blogging fellows” list and fulfill my grandma’s request for more blogs, I’d like to share some of my favorite photos from my 10-week placement at Asociacion Arariwa in Cusco, Peru.

Arariwa is an amazing organization with an extremely dedicated group of loan officers. I was consistently impressed with loan officers’ dedication to their clients—not just putting in long hours for little pay and running risks by carrying cash, but in some cases even relocating to remote villages in order to serve clients without...

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Jun 6, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Nick Cain, KF7 Paraguay

In Cochabamba, Bolivia, milk is quite literally the ticket to financial services and economic growth.  Kiva lenders, meet CIDRE, your newest Field Partner in Bolivia.  Last week I traveled from Asunción, Paraguay to Cochabamba, Bolivia to train CIDRE’s staff members on the Kiva platform, help them learn a little about the Kiva community, and make sure they had everything they needed in order to start connecting their borrowers to Kiva lenders....

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Jun 6, 2009 KH Cambodia

This Wednesday marked a watershed moment for Kiva.org: borrowers from the U.S. made a well-publicized debut on the person-to-person microlending website. It left no doubt that microcredit, seen by many as the province of the poor, had arrived to serve Americans in need.

The floodgates are open, and they sluice both ways.

Kiva’s launch of lending in the U.S. has impassioned many, including a group of people in Cambodia near and dear to me — the staff of Maxima Mikroheranvatho, a Kiva partner microfinance institution where I was a Kiva Fellow from October 2008 to...

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Jun 6, 2009 PH Philippines

Four weeks ago I left my first placement in Cambodia and came to the Philippines where I started my second assignment with Kiva Field Partner ASKI. With each day at ASKI I have been more and more impressed by the dedication of the staff and the amazing programs that they are running.

Last week I started working on a blog post where I plan to conduct video interviews with staff that work on what ASKI calls, their “Beyond Microfinance” programs. These programs include; health insurance, life insurance, community development, housing loans for government built low income housing units...

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Jun 6, 2009

Why is it that Kiva gets a bad rep for funding MFIs that give out loans to the people who otherwise would not receive them?! Recently, a blog was written on socialedge.org/blogs about a particular experience a “video journalist” had when she visited MFIs in Cambodia and Mozambique and spoke to “countless Kiva loan recipients” while there. The author’s article was based on the fact that “none of them had succeeded at pulling themselves out of poverty” because of these five reasons:

1) The High Interest Rates Being Charged
2)...

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Jun 6, 2009

Maria Shriver and I just made a loan to Elizabeth, the first US Kiva Borrower- next week Elizabeth is cutting my hair!

The adrenaline rush I have right now going onto Kiva’s website and seeing loans for entrepreneurs in the United States might compare with what sports fans feel when they watch a good super bowl game.

It’s so exciting. I log into my Kiva account and can see the borrowers that we have been gathering the last few weeks all the sudden go active on the Kiva website.

Preparing for the U.S. launch has been somewhat of a “top secret” operation over the...

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Jun 6, 2009 PH Philippines

“Kiva Country” is what ASKI-MFI (Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc.) staff like to call the Isabella Province, the region where their Kiva clients live and work. ASKI MFI is a new Kiva partner in the Philippines. Their headquarters are in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija about 3 hours north of Manila, 10 hours if there is traffic and there is always traffic. They’ve been working hard these past months on their Kiva partnership, and are growing quickly. Beyond micro-finance, ASKI also offers many benefits and programs to their clients such as life and health insurance, educational...

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Jun 6, 2009 NP Nepal

Walking down Ring Road on Monday (the main road that encompasses the cities of Kathmandu and Patan) it felt as though there had been a mass evacuation and I was the only one who didn’t receive the memo. On a road that is usually so congested with traffic that I allow myself five minutes extra travel time in order to cross it, there was not a single vehicle to be seen and ndhonly a scattering of people here and there. The fruit sellers that usually ‘Namaste’ me on my walk into town had vanished and the usual strip of corner shops selling everything from lentils to coca cola had pulled down...

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