Stories tagged with All

Jan 1, 2010 TG Togo

This is as close as I can get to looking Togolese!

By Taylor Akin, KF9, Togo

It’s amazing how identity can be so malleable. In a matter of hours, a person can be transformed from local to foreigner, fluent to fumbling, familiar to fascinating, and even from black to white. Anyone who has ever travelled even just a couple hours outside their hometown has experienced this shift. The change in identity may happen to varying degrees, but its unpredictability...

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Jan 1, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Josh Wilcox, KF10 Ecuador

Greetings from KF10!  As the first to start a placement with the most recent Fellows class, I’d like to share my first New Year’s experience outside the good ol’ US of A.  During the first week of my Kiva Fellows placement at brand new Kiva Field Partner Cooperativa San José, I was fortunate enough to spend December 31 recognizing and celebrating the Año Viejo (Old Year) while also welcoming in the Año Nuevo (New Year).  At Cooperativa San José, one of the Cooperativa’s suppliers of office materials gave...

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Jan 1, 2010 PH Philippines

Mary Riedel KF 9 Philippines

Last month I picked up my clothes from the Washeteria. I was psyched, walking home with that, “I have clean clothes to wear,” feeling (you know the one). I got home, opened the cube shaped bag, it smelled so nice, even my underwear were folded! “What can I wear tomorrow?”

I stumbled upon a long blue, polyester skirt.  “Hmmm, this definitely doesn’t look like mine,” (although having worn uniforms for 12 years I did feel a slight connection.)

Quickly I worried, “If I have...

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Jan 1, 2010 PH Philippines

by Josh Weinstein, KF9 Philippines

How do you define poverty?   A basic needs index looks at whether (and to what extent) fundamental needs are fulfilled – food, water, shelter, clothing – and whether people have access to critical services – education, information (newspapers, etc.), sanitation facilities, healthcare, financial services.  This is an absolute poverty calculation, which uses a standard threshold that can be compared across countries and continents.  Another method is to use a national poverty line, usually a...

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Jan 1, 2010 NI Nicaragua

By Kelly McKinnon, KF9 Leon, Nicaragua

In my time as a Kiva Fellow I’ve written more than 100 borrower profiles and 40 or so journal updates. When writing profiles one tends to fall into a rhythm, there are words that come up repeatedly, expressions that are almost invariably used, translations that don’t quite work. Often my days are spent trying to deciphering the handwriting of a loan officer with little knowledge of the borrower beyond what is scrawled. Most of the time I look at the back of a computer. It wasn’t exactly the vision I had when I dreamed of joining the...

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Jan 1, 2010 SN Senegal

By Ilmari Soininen,  KF9  Thies, Senegal

Of the forty-eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, how many would you guess have a Mcdonald’s? Why would one care?

Thomas Friedman, the columnist and author, posited “No two countries that both had McDonald’s had fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald’s”. If one had missed the lesson on causation versus correlation back in statistics class, the answer to ending conflict in Africa would be simple. Step one:open a Mcdonalds in every country on the continent....

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Jan 1, 2010
 By Anne Hector, KF9, Kenya
 
It is my favorite moment in the Kiva interview.  The whole mood of the conversation changes, the borrower’s face softens, and typically they gaze in the distance for a second before answering the question.
For those of you who don’t know, Kiva interviews (that produce the data for the web site profiles) follow a somewhat standard format.  The first question for the borrower, after we explain Kiva, is do they mind...
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Jan 1, 2010 NI Nicaragua

By Meg Gray, KF9 Nicaragua

One example of a bad road I have faced.

I’ve driven over some pretty terrible roads over the last three months. It doesn’t seem to matter if they’re gravel, paved, dirt, or a mixture of the three. In Nicaragua every road has character and usually this “character” makes it harder to get to CEPRODEL’s clients. Now besides being an inconvenience, why does this matter? It matters because...

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Jan 1, 2010 MX Mexico

By Julia Kastner, KF10 Mexico

Feliz Navidad and Feliz Año Nuevo from Mexico!

Yesterday was the first day of my second Kiva placement at a brand new MFI called CrediComun.  I completed my first placement with Fundacion Realidad in mid-December (make a loan to them here!) so I had a couple weeks of vacation to travel!  I went to the city of Oaxaca, a city famous for history and art, and to Zihuatenejo, a fishing village turned beach.  Let’s just say it was a really tough couple of weeks!  But I must admit, I couldn’t quite clear the microfinance perspective...

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Jan 1, 2010 KH Cambodia

By Gemma North, KF9, Cambodia

I spend a lot of time walking the streets of Phnom Penh.  This is not a common practice for Cambodians, who know better than to try and navigate the chaotic sidewalks which are essentially an outdoor extension of stores, restaurants and living rooms, or even spaces for entirely separate businesses such as bicycle repairmen, women selling barbecued chicken feet, or mobile phone refill kiosks.  Yet I enjoy steering through this obstacle course as it allows me to take in, and slowly understand the details and habits that make up peoples’ daily...

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