With almost 6000 views, Kieran Ball takes the internet community by storm with his post featuring a phenomenal video tracking a loan from London to Cambodia. You can also view the translated Spanish and French versions of the video here: Un Punado de Dolares/ Une Poignee de Dollars.... Continue Reading >>
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Imagine that you’re a young West African woman. You live in a small village, and you had to quit school at a young age to help your parents take care of your brothers and sisters, so employment prospects are slim.
Your grandmother approaches you with a job offer. She tells you that, with the career that she has in mind, you could make up to $200 a day, along with gifts of palm oil, yams, and chickens. You would be carrying on a family tradition, a religious tradition, and a cultural tradition, and the people in your town would respect you and your work.
Sounds good,...Continue Reading >>
After about 6 weeks being out in the field and working with my MFI, I sent the following email to the 7th class kiva fellows:
I have a burning question I’d like to ask all of you: now that you’ve been working with your respective mfi’s for some time now, what do you think about microfinance (in general)? Any good surprises? Any bad surprises?
What followed was a long, fascinating discussion that we thought would be a good idea to publish here. I’ve posted the replies as comments to this post. Hope you enjoy!/> Continue Reading >>
(cont’d from Kiva Fellows IN the field – Part 1)' /> Continue Reading >>
“Be late, but get there”
This sticker, prominently displayed on the dashboard of the Mombasa bus, did not inspire much confidence that we would reach our destination in a timely manner, but it at least reassured my safety a bit more than another common sticker – “drive it like you stole it.”
Occasional Frequent maniacal driving aside, you are also most likely already aware of the fact that things in East Africa rarely operate in a way that someone from the United States (my home country) might call prompt....Continue Reading >>
As a Kiva Fellow volunteering for a Microfinance Institution (MFI) in Puno, Peru, one of my responsibilities is to interview women entrepreneurs who have received loans from the MFI, Manuela Ramos, and Kiva. During the interview the goal is to obtain their photos, learn how the woman used the loan, and gather more information about her life – her hopes, dreams and hardships. With this information I can, and other fellows and MFI employees can, provide a follow up to the people who have made loans to these...Continue Reading >>
Warning: this post has absolutely nothing to do with microfinace. Just gives you a glimpse into what is involved with taking a hot shower here in Nimasac, Guatemala.
When I was first accepted as a Kiva Fellow, I was asked if I had any “special” requirements. My response was that I wanted to be relatively safe and be able to take a hot shower.
Taking a hot shower is no simple matter in Guatemala. First of all, most homes do not have running water. (this includes the family that I am living with). So, in that situation, here is how you get to take a hot shower....Continue Reading >>
I have been working with ADIM in Nicaragua for just over one month now, enough time to get a pretty advanced rough picture of how this organization works. It has been an interesting four weeks, the first two of which found me frantically trying to keep up with the high-speed pace and lively Spanish chatter of Javier Flores, the organization’s Credit Manager, who is also responsible for managing much of ADIM’s relationship with Kiva. I also found myself with a bit much downtime, which, ironically, stressed me out since I had so much to do during the three months I would be in Nicaragua. We...Continue Reading >>
“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?-it’s the too huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
-On the Road by Jack Kerouac
No quote better summarized my feelings when I left the Bay Area to start my fellowship with Kiva in Peru. This video is a glimpse into my crazy adventure...Continue Reading >>
It shattered my worldview, changed my perspective on life. It nearly undid me. I was at times stupefied by heat and pollution, tongue-tied by the language barrier, unable to process basic thoughts, uncomfortable from stomach ailments, so overwhelmed by poverty that I could not imagine how to improve the quality of life. But I was also fascinated by the many cultures, bonding with friends of every nationality, living each day full of adventure as it were my last, traveling, collapsing into...Continue Reading >>