Stories tagged with Africa

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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Sep 9, 2011 KH Cambodia

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

Rwanda: Brand New Rice Paddies (by Adam Cohn)

It has been a busy week for bloggers. The 16th class of Kiva fellows (KF16) hits the ground running and invites you to share their first experiences in their host countries across the globe. Arrive in Georgia just in time for harvest season. Continue to Sierra Leone to watch a new Kiva field partner go from pilot to active. Jump out of a plane in Rwanda – but not without...

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Sep 9, 2011 RW Rwanda

By Adam Cohn KF14, Rwanda

Rwanda Rice Paddies

Before my Kiva fellowship, I had never considered the differences between the loans which appear on Kiva. To me, a loan was a loan, and the only difference was the story of each individual borrower. That’s actually far from the case, and as Urwego Opportunity Bank prepared to roll out their first agriculture loan product, to rice farmers in Rwanda, I quickly learned about the differences between agriculture...

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Sep 9, 2011 RW Rwanda

By Whitney Webb, KF16, Rwanda


Things became real when I stepped out of my NYC apartment for the last time and hailed a cab to the airport. It was one thing to say (repeatedly) “I’m moving to Rwanda to do a fellowship in microfinance. I’m so excited. And a little nervous.” It’s quite another to pack up your bags and actually board a plane to Rwanda, or Indonesia, or Paraguay, etc… I’m guessing more than one of us Kiva...

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Sep 9, 2011 SL Sierra Leone

Tejal Desai, KF 16, Sierra Leone

Just over a week ago, I hopped on the back of an okada (motorbike) to head to my first day as a Kiva Fellow at the BRAC Sierra Leone country office in Freetown. I felt like the giddy new kid on the first day of school, equipped with my oversized backpack, thick binder of training materials, and colossal water bottle. I couldn’t wait to dive into my fellowship, learn about BRAC’s work in Sierra Leone, promote sustainability, and meet the amazing people who implement and utilize BRAC’s services. Above all, I couldn’t wait to be a part of...

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Sep 9, 2011 KE Kenya

By Claire Markham, KF16, Kenya

On Kiva’s website, the description of why Kiva does what it does is as follows:

We envision a world where all people – even in the most remote areas of the globe – hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.

We believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families.

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to spend a day with a loan officer with SMEP’s Nairobi Central branch, and we traveled to...

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Sep 9, 2011 KE Kenya

Lauren Barra, KF16, Kenya

News of hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires bringing you down? Tired of hearing about how the world economy is in the toilet and the U.S. outlook is grimmer than ever? Want to explore a corner of the world where risk profiles are actually improving? Welcome to Yehu Microfinance Trust in Mombasa, Kenya.

Starting today, Yehu will now proudly display a three star Field Partner risk rating on Kiva. In their communication with Yehu, Kiva highlighted its main justifications for the change:


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Aug 8, 2011 SN Senegal

by Tim Young, KF15, Senegal

To paraphrase an ancient Chinese proverb:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Give a man a donkey and you feed him for at least five years, providing the donkey is well treated and doesn’t get sick.

Meet Lazarus, one of the co-founders of the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust!

At the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust (“GHDT” or the “Trust”) this...

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Aug 8, 2011 RW Rwanda

By Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

Group photo Kiva style: The "group leader" is raising his hand

Birthdays are celebrated around the world, and Rwanda – the tiny East African country of 1000 hills wedged between the Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi – is no exception.

For its 5-year anniversary, the staff of Kiva’s field partner Amasezerano Community Bank (ACB) left its offices in Kigali for the shores of beautiful lake Kivu (unfortunately not...

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