Stories tagged with blogsherpa

Jun 6, 2009 LB Lebanon

Over 7,000 miles away from San Francisco, I’ve finally arrived in Lebanon to start my fellowship with Al Majmoua , a microfinance institution based in Beirut but with mulitiple branches around the country. Flying from my last connection in Dubai to Beirut, we cross over an endless expanse of desert as we pass over Saudi Arabia and Jordan.  The desert starts to make way to rocky mountain peaks as we fly over Syria and finally I start to see specs of green -al-arz (the cedars) – I’ve arrived.

The noise from the screaming kids (in-flight entertainment system was broken-lovely) and...

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Jun 6, 2009

Tamara Sanderson, KF8 Mongolia

During Kiva Fellows Training, Kiva Fellows Director JD Bergeron emphasized the word connect within Kiva’s mission statement: “to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.”   He said that without the connection factor, Kiva would not exist.

I mentally agreed with him at the time, but after reflecting on my first week in Mongolia, I am realizing the truth of JD’s statement.  Below, you can find a few examples.

Support from Strangers

After 22 hours, 3 flight...

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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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Jun 6, 2009 ID Indonesia

By Zev Lowe, KF8 Indonesia

Watch as Jemy, the Kiva Coordinator at my host MFI, Dinari Foundation Bali, takes me on a nail-biting, jaw-dropping white knuckled ride home. This video is just one minute long, but the actual journey took half an hour.

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Zev Lowe started work at DINARI Foundation today. He recently completed his MBA at ESADE Business School in...

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Jun 6, 2009 ID Indonesia

By Zev Lowe, KF 8 Indonesia

The US dollar has recently risen significantly against many currencies. When I arrived in Bali to begin my Kiva Fellowship with DINARI Foundation, I received 10,295 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) for each of my US dollars. This is 10% higher than a year ago, when the US dollar was worth 9,350 IDR.

How does this fluctuation in exchange rates affect Kiva lenders, partners, and borrowers? Does this mean that an Indonesian farmer or food vendor is left having to bear the burden of the strengthening dollar?

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May 5, 2009 PE Peru

Three months ago, I came to Tarapoto, Peru armed with all sorts of tools to start my Kiva fellowship; cameras, powerpoint presentations about Kiva, books about microfinance, and a ton of information acquired during training at Kiva headquarters in San Francisco. While all these were useful, nothing could really prepare me for the most challenging part of my fellowship; finding the borrowers I had to interview to get journal updates for Kiva lenders. Just as my colleague Emily struggled to find Kiva borrowers in Puno, Peru, I had a similar set of challenges in the San Martin region,...

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May 5, 2009 SN Senegal

My memories of the last eight months away from home are a jumbled mass of color, freedom, fear, patience, frustration, and energy – raw, shifting memories that have not yet arranged themselves into neat, packageable stories that I can pull from the shelf at parties when I get home.

Watching Obama's Inauguration Speech on the Togolese Roadside

I have tested my sense of self against new backgrounds, ripped away the familiar context of home to hold my idea of “Abby” up...

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May 5, 2009 KH Cambodia

Over the last three months, four Kiva Fellows (Katie, Julie, Jeff and Drew) have been working and living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We are so lucky to have spent this time together in such a wonderful place. Alas, our time has come to an end but we have put together a video to share both our time at our individual MFI’s and our time together outside of work.

It is unusual for multiple Kiva Fellows to be located in the...

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May 5, 2009 PH Philippines

What do you get when you cross a woman named Matilde Tamon and an organization like Ahon Sa Hirap, Inc. (ASHI)? A love song.

Matilde, who is a spry 75 years of age, has been a member of ASHI for 13 years. She loves to sing, and also loves what ASHI has done for her and the women in her community. Faced with this fortunate predicament, she did what any Filipino would do: she sang about it.

Some years ago Matilde composed a song of gratitude for ASHI, one which she usually delivers a capella. ASHI, a Grameen-style, non-profit microcredit institution that provides financial...

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