Stories tagged with Africa

Oct 10, 2011

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

Doña Martina with her cow near La Paz, Bolivia. By Eric Rindal, KF16

This week Fellows look at the questions surrounding microfinance, or perhaps more specifically, Kiva-style microfinance: what is Christian microfinance in Rwanda? Where are these borrower profiles actually coming from? What is the everyday mentality of a Kiva micro-borrower? What’s this about Field Partners in the...

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Oct 10, 2011

I was a fan of Kiva long before I realized there were real people who make those profiles miraculously appear on Kiva’s website.  Likely, you’re a bit more aware.  Or perhaps you’re like me, and you’ve just never thought about it.  If so, this is like the Santa revelation… there aren’t gnomes behind the screen, but instead hard-working, committed groups of people.  Either way, this is the first in a series of posts dedicated to them and all that they do!

There are so many people behind the posting of a single profile, and this is just part one in a series of posts to...

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Oct 10, 2011 RW Rwanda

By Kathrin Gerner and Whitney Webb, KF16, Rwanda

Praying Together: The Staff of Amasezerano at their Annual Trip

Before coming to Rwanda, we both had no idea what it meant to work for a Christian bank. Islamic banking, yes, that is something we had heard about before. But Christian banking?

To find out more, we interviewed the staff at our host microfinance institutions, Amasezerano Community Banking, Vision Finance Company and Urwego Opportunity Bank...

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Oct 10, 2011 KH Cambodia

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

Six on a Motorbike in Cambodia (by Dave Weber)

This week on the Kiva fellows blog: Hop on a poda-poda or an okada to try out an adventurous way to get around Sierra Leone. Find out why loan use in Tajikistan is not as straightforward as you may think. Learn how the principle of “trust but verify” is applied in Georgia. Explore the clever efforts of an Ecuadorian Kiva partner to craft an agricultural loan...

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Oct 10, 2011 BO Bolivia

Compiled by Jim Burke, KF16, Nicaragua

We are Kiva Fellows. This is the stuff we like. Here is an insider (often critical, or satirical but always true!) view of what it means to be a Kiva Fellow and promote access to financial services around the world. From alpaca fur to FSSs to ziplock bags, these are the things we like and thrive on.

#1 Being the first foreign person that somebody has ever seen in their life

Dave Weber, KF16, Cambodia...

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Oct 10, 2011 TZ Tanzania

by Rebecca Corey, KF16, New Orleans, USA

In 2009 when I told friends and family I was moving to Tanzania to study international development and to work for Kiva in the field of microfinance, or the furnishing of small loans to the working poor, we all had certain pre-formed ideas about how impactful and necessary my work was sure to be. We understood that in terms of GDP, literacy, infant mortality, and other common measures, Tanzania is a “developing” country, Third World, periphery. In another word: poor. As a recent college graduate, I had established ideas about poverty...

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Sep 9, 2011 KE Kenya

By Claire Markham, KF16, Kenya

Before I arrived in Nairobi, I had heard on multiple occasions about the fundamental role loan officers play in making an MFI function. Loan officers are the backbone of the organization; they are intimately familiar with their clients and the challenges they face and they go to extraordinary measures to meet client needs. I was able to fully appreciate this on my recent borrower visits in Mombasa with two of SMEP Deposit Taking Microfinance Limited’s loan officers: the one who supposedly travels the most, and the one who supposedly travels...

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Sep 9, 2011 KE Kenya

Lauren Barra, KF16, Kenya

“A startling new statistic from the World Health Organization,” the BBC announcer sounded from my taxi’s radio. “There are only two registered medical professionals for every 1,000 Kenyans…” As I drove through the bustling, overcrowded streets of downtown Mombasa, I took a deep breath and was reminded once again – my work here is not going to be easy.

The BBC announcer continued to explain that this data is even more sobering for poor, uninsured Kenyans who rely on government-funded hospitals. A...

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Sep 9, 2011

Ouagadougou- pronounced Wagadugu and lovingly referred to as Ouaga by those who live here- is home to Micro Start, Kiva’s first partner in the small west African country of Burkina Faso.  If you’re like most, you’re wondering … Is that a country?  Where? I must know it by another name.  Is it a new country?  Why have I never heard of it?

Yes it’s a country. In West Africa. It’s previous name was the Republic of the Upper Volta (awesome).  No, it’s not a new country. I’m not sure why few have heard of it, but I would venture to guess because it’s small, stable, and poor. ...

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Sep 9, 2011 BO Bolivia

Eric Rindal – KF16 – Bolivia

After Jeffrey Sachs  started talking about ladders, rungs, and poverty, many wondered if there would be an end to poverty. The way he saw it was that if a developing country could just make it to that first “rung” on the ladder, they would reach the global economy and lift themselves from poverty. He augmented this with “clinical economics,” treating developing countries like patients by offering a unique diagnosis, by properly addressing a country’s need. I am not going to analyze Sachs’ book, rather I will compare the differences...

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