Stories tagged with Africa

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

RwandAir

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:

Reasons...

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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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Aug 8, 2011 SN Senegal

by Tim Young, KF15, Senegal

It is difficult to believe that more than three months have passed since I first arrived in Senegal to begin my Kiva Fellowship. During that time I have travelled from the desert to the sea; I’ve met borrowers who are farmers, retailers, tailors and fishermen. Some have been asking for tiny loans to start their first micro-enterprise, others for commercial-sized loans to continue funding the growth of their successful businesses. All have been inspiring. I have a new golden rule for Kiva Fellows: Exspecta inexspectata! (That’s...

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Aug 8, 2011 CL Chile

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF15, Togo

This week on the Kiva fellows blog, take a cooking class with a Kiva borrower in Ecuador and learn how to make two mouthwatering local specialties: quimbalitos and tamales. Continue on to Sierra Leone to see how autarky is the goal of Kiva fellowships as well as micro loans. Then return to Ecuador to watch a video about traditional dances, find out about the feeling of “saudade” and reflect on the juxtaposition of poverty and prosperity. Finally, learn how a social performance study can be constructed in Chile....

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Aug 8, 2011 SL Sierra Leone

By Eric Rindal – KF15 – Sierra Leone

“Soon you’re not going to be here anymore, and I need to start doing things for myself,” Mbalu, the Kiva Coordinator at BRAC SL, earnestly said to me. One of my main objectives here in Sierra Leone has been to finalize Mbalu’s orientation of writing the Kiva borrower profiles, posting profiles to Kiva.org, and reporting borrower repayments to Kiva headquarters. With a great sense of accomplishment, last month was Mbalu’s first time posting borrowers onto Kiva.org without any

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