Stories tagged with All

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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Jan 1, 2010 NI Nicaragua

By Meg Gray, KF9 Nicaragua

Yarlin proudly shows me the solar panel she purchased with her Kiva loan.

As a Kiva lender, I wistfully search the “green loans” category every time I go to relend my funds on
Sadly, I feel like I almost always get the “no loans found” response. This is too bad for many reasons. Green loans, such as solar panels, fruit trees, or water filtration systems, have such a profound (and sustainable) impact on the borrower’s...

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Dec 12, 2009 PH Philippines

Mary Riedel, KF9, Philippines

It’s that day of the year when we look forward with hope as we let go of last year’s demons and angels; as they say, “let go or get dragged!” So we put on those funny hats, blow those horns, and dance like we just don’t care!

To inspire you this New Years I’ve collected some dance footage of Kiva Fellows bustin’ a move in the field at their respective Kiva Field Partners (Microfinance Institutes). Each fellow recalls feeling a little trepidatious at getting out on the...

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Dec 12, 2009 VN Vietnam

By Alex Duong, KF9, Vietnam

Vietnam has received consistent coverage on this blog since the Kiva Fellows 5th class (KF5).  Often there are snippets or video discussing the dangerous, lawless traffic of the streets.  And until now, there have been no solutions for navigating the madness.  Below is video of what I’m coining as the ‘wiggle.’  Watch how this man avoids cars, pedestrians, and other motorbikes.  Each little twist is a subtle yet intentional twist that finds the next opening.  Click to read about this fellow’s thoughts on Vietnam culture.

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Dec 12, 2009 SN Senegal

By Nicki Goh, KF9 Senegal

Last week, I took my first field visit to the southern Casamance region of Senegal. Separated from the north of the country by the Gambia, the large Diola population of the Casamance region is primarily involved in fishing, rice cultivation and tourism. However, many SEM borrowers have other types of business: they sell vegetables, make clothing, rent bikes and bake bread. They make their livings providing new goods and services to their communities all thanks to loans that they have had from SEM and Kiva lenders.

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