Stories tagged with Africa

Nov 11, 2010 GH Ghana

by Jacqueline Gunn, KF13. Christian Rural Aid Network, Cape Coast- Ghana

One of the first things I noticed about living in Ghana is the ebb and flow of sound. It feels like Ghana is living by a constant rhythm which is created in every household, on every street and every road.

Where I live is pretty rural- a walk away from the nearest road and along a dirt track which constantly changes due to the weather. Even though we are a way away from town, we are never missing some kind of sound. The goats we live with constantly bleat, the insects provide a...

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Oct 10, 2010 RW Rwanda

Last week in Rwanda, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced plans to cut its funding programs for university students in order to funnel that money into primary and secondary education.  Currently, Rwanda offers its citizens free1 education through the third year of secondary school for a total of nine years of free education.  The remaining three years of secondary school must be self-financed.  As a result of this free 9-Year Basic Education (9-YBE), Rwanda has one of the highest primary enrollment rates in the region (92% in 2004).  However, this is not a cheap commitment to keep,...

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Sep 9, 2010 SN Senegal

By Abigail Salisbury, KF12, Senegal

We all know the story of Marie Antoinette’s callous response upon being told that the people of France had no bread, right?  “Let them eat cake!”  Except she never actually said that, and the attributed saying didn’t involve cake, it referred to brioche, a rich bread made with eggs and butter.  Well, when Senegalese bakers went on strike this week, the only alternative really was eating brioche, and it made me think a bit about the limitations of microfinance.

Because Senegal spent many years under French...

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Sep 9, 2010 KE Kenya

Today we’d like to give a very special thank you to one of our top individual lenders, Brian!

Brian is a University Chancellor in Fairbanks, Alaska, and has been lending on Kiva for nearly 5 years. With 3,046 loans, Brian has literally uplifted thousands of lives all over the world through micro-finance. Having a personal connection is crucial to our mission at Kiva, and so in thanks for his continuous support, one of the borrowers he has lended to has a very special video message for Brian.

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Sep 9, 2010 RW Rwanda

Monday September 6th was a national holiday here in Rwanda as the nation celebrated the inauguration of President Paul Kagame for a second seven year term.  Outside of the filled to capacity National Stadium, I, along with thousands of Rwandans, watched as President Kagame signed the Oath of Office and accepted the Instruments of Office – a copy of the Constitution, a National Flag, and a Coat of Arms.  Later he was given a spear and a shield, traditional symbols that signify his duty to protect the nation.

Elections were held on August 9th and President Kagame garnered 93...

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Sep 9, 2010 GH Ghana

Like any business partnership, a partnership with Kiva brings both financial and non-financial benefits and costs to a Microfinance Institution (MFI). I believe that partnerships, whether personal or business, need partners’ values to align in order to succeed. So I will analyze this topic within the context of Kiva’s values – dignity, accountability, and transparency. The question I’d like to discuss is “What are the non-financial costs and benefits to an MFI in aligning with Kiva’s values of dignity, accountability, and transparency?” Since this blog represents my observations of one MFI...

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Aug 8, 2010 TG Togo

Amelegan Amegningnon; a smiling WAGES entrepreneur

By Taylor Akin, KF9, Togo

I began writing this blog on a scrap piece of paper just north of the Burkinabé/Ghanaian border. I had spent my morning walking across the border carrying a 40-pound pack and subsequently spending far too much money on a taxi into the nearest town. My Kiva Fellowship had ended a week and a half earlier, and I was sitting in a hot, dirty hotel room with a concrete floor, grimy walls, and inconsistent...

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Aug 8, 2010 BJ Benin

Benin is a country not often in the news.  When I was a Kiva Fellow placed there, I’d come to appreciate this.  It meant we didn’t have the political instability of Togo, the violence of Nigeria, or the food shortages of Niger.  While Benin still had many flaws, it was stable compared to its neighbors.  This gave it hope for the future – hope for growth and international investment.

On Thursday, a story about Benin reached the New York Times.  That article, “Scheme May Unmoor Benin, An Anchor of Stability,” has prompted me to write you.  While it’s nice...

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Aug 8, 2010 KE Kenya

By Brittany Boroian, Kiva Fellow Class 12 with Faulu Kenya in Nairobi, Kenya

Hello Kiva readers! My name is Brittany Boroian, and this is my first post on the Kiva Fellows blog! I am a Class 12 Kiva Fellow working with Faulu Kenya, one of the largest micro-finance institutions in Kenya. I have worked with micro-finance in Asia and South America, and this is my first time to Africa.

I’ve only been in Kenya a few days, but one realization that has been apparent to me immediately in East Africa is the sense of community with your co-workers.

...

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Aug 8, 2010 LR Liberia

As my time in Liberia comes to a close, I am reflecting back on all that I’ve learned over the last three months.  I’d like to pass along some helpful information to any readers who may be planning to travel to Liberia in the future.

Liberian English Is Way More “Liberian” Than It Is “English”

I assumed that since Liberians speak “Liberian English” that I would be able to understand them and that Liberians would be able to understand me.  As it turns out, neither of these things are true.  Liberian English is an English-based creole...

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