Stories tagged with All

Feb 2, 2010 LR Liberia

Karen Buxton, KF10, Liberia

The Liberians United for Haiti Relief Concert took place last weekend at one of Monrovia’s large outdoor stadiums.  “Please give to Haiti!  We know what it is like to have nothing, so let us give to a country that has just been devastated,” cried the Master of Ceremonies.  The boisterous crowd raised their hands and cheered in approval.

(Photo courtesy of John Briggs, KF10)

Several thousand...

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Feb 2, 2010 AZ Azerbaijan

By Peter Marchant, KF10 Azerbaijan

The photos on borrower profiles provide a key connection between Kiva lenders and the borrowers they fund, but lending based on snapshots has drawbacks. A photo can convey a lot about a borrower, a culture, a business or a life and create an emotional reaction for the viewer. Yet the very power of a picture can prevent lenders from learning the full story of a borrower and their country.

Azerbaijan’s borrower photos often feature dour men in tweed coats peering out unsmiling from behind bushy mustaches. They stand near a few head of...

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Feb 2, 2010 PH Philippines

By Eva Wu, KF9 Philippines

Having read Meg’s excellent blog post “Bad Roads, Interest Rates, and MFI Sustainability” and the ensuing comments from Kiva lenders, I admit that I was rather baffled. Particularly by comments that varied upon the theme of: “In the U.S. you can get loans for ~8%! You can get credit for 18% interest, which we find high and oppressive! So how can MFIs charge 36% interest rates on loans to their poor clients, it is usurious, it can’t be justified…” so on and so forth.

I believe that if you were to...

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Feb 2, 2010 PH Philippines

For all those who have succumbed to playing the late night trivia game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”,  you know it is based on the assumption that any actor can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon within six steps.  The game is a play on the network idea “Six Degrees of Separation” that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth.

What I have come to realize week one into my placement as a brand new Kiva Fellow is Kevin Bacon is to Hollywood as Kiva Fellows are to the world of microfinance.  Our role is to facilitate ...

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Feb 2, 2010 HN Honduras

Where am I?
What am I doing?
Who am I?

These are all important questions that Kiva Fellows ask themselves. I imagine that I will spend the duration of my Kiva Fellowship (and probably a long time after) seeking the answers to these questions. So, what of the questions I have asked of my surroundings this week?

Trying to orient myself, I have asked an endless stream of questions to the Prisma staff and to the borrowers we interviewed this week.

My first question Monday morning was far too ambitious: “Roberto,” I asked of the inter-office...

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Feb 2, 2010 KE Kenya

Hezron Murinde is a happy man. After 20 years of subsistence farming in a hilly region of Kenya’s Central Province, he’s earning a profit. It started with a chaff cutter. A chaff cutter is a big, cranky device that chops feed into small enough pieces for livestock to eat (and livestock eat a lot). The chaff cutter led to the cow. Not just any cow, but a high-yield dairy cow that produces enough milk to out-gross all the maize and beans Hezron grows across acres of land.

Hezron and...

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Feb 2, 2010 PH Philippines

Josh Weinstein, KF9, Philippines

Last week I went to a town called La Castellana about an hour south of Bacolod to visit the NWTF branch there.  I was there to meet a handful of Kiva borrowers and interview them about the progress of their loan.  Over the course of two days, I met six women that currently have a loan with Kiva, and another four that I am going to post to the site this week.  La Castellana is a town in the mountains that is largely supported by agriculture.   It is also one of the major areas impacted by agrarian reform and home to some of NWTF...

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Feb 2, 2010

Adam Kogeman, KF10, Cambodia

My landlord recently explained to me that when she moved to the United States in 1980 after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, she got a job assembling hi-tech equipment like computer motherboards.  She was intimidated by the difficult work at first.  The workers had to be surgically precise and use extremely small materials, but she looked at her colleagues and said to herself “They have two eyes and two arms, just like me.  Anything they can do, I can do.”  She took the challenge head-on and was a productive, successful employee for many years...

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Feb 2, 2010

By Gemma North, KF9, Cambodia

What type of toilet facility does the household have?

A. Pit latrine, septic tank, other without septic tank, public toilet, shared toilet, or other

B. Connected to sewerage

C. Open land

D. None


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Feb 2, 2010 KH Cambodia

Inspired by Nicholas Kristof’s latest blog post: The Role of Microfinance

Microfinance is “the most visible innovation in anti-poverty policy in the last half century.” Because of this, many have put such high expectations on the effects of microfinance and the pace at which it can have an impact on ending poverty. Some have even called it the panacea for poverty.

The truth is, microfinance alone cannot end poverty and anyone who is involved in microfinance will tell you the same. But before you start freaking out and withdrawing all of your Kiva credit, let’s look at what...

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