Stories tagged with Africa

Jan 1, 2010 KE Kenya

by Avani Parekh-Bhatt, Kiva Fellow at SMEP in Nairobi, Kenya.

The "dodo" bird from SMEP

Jambo! I’d like to introduce myself, My name is Avani Parekh-Bhatt, I’m a 9th class Kiva Fellow  and the last of my class to get to the field in Kenya. I hail from Durham, North Carolina. I believe in the power of human relationships, and grassroots led development, and I want to see the real nuts and bolts of...

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Jan 1, 2010 SN Senegal

By Nicki Goh, KF9 Senegal

Now that I am well into my second month here in Senegal, I thought it was worth sharing a little background on the MFI where I am working.

Senegal Ecovillage Microfinance was set up in 2004 by an American volunteer, John Fay, who was carrying out an economic assessment of the village of Louly Ngogom in Senegal. Following interviews with the villagers, John decided to set up a small micro-loan pilot programme to meet the demand for financial services in otherwise un-served communities. In that first year of 2004, he lent...

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Jan 1, 2010 TG Togo

This is as close as I can get to looking Togolese!

By Taylor Akin, KF9, Togo

It’s amazing how identity can be so malleable. In a matter of hours, a person can be transformed from local to foreigner, fluent to fumbling, familiar to fascinating, and even from black to white. Anyone who has ever travelled even just a couple hours outside their hometown has experienced this shift. The change in identity may happen to varying degrees, but its unpredictability...

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Jan 1, 2010 SN Senegal

By Ilmari Soininen,  KF9  Thies, Senegal

Of the forty-eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, how many would you guess have a Mcdonald’s? Why would one care?

Thomas Friedman, the columnist and author, posited “No two countries that both had McDonald’s had fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald’s”. If one had missed the lesson on causation versus correlation back in statistics class, the answer to ending conflict in Africa would be simple. Step one:open a Mcdonalds in every country on the continent....

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Jan 1, 2010 TG Togo

By Taylor Akin, KF9, Togo

Picture yourself on a bike riding along a beach. Nice image, isn’t it?

A typical main street in Lome

Now, swap the bike for a motorcycle fishtailing in the sand and replace the crashing waves with revving engines and honking cars. Add dust in your eyes, the smell of exhaust in your nose, and about 30 degrees of heat and you’ve come close to the daily journey of a loan officer in Lomé, Togo.

I know I’m not the first to...

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Jan 1, 2010 KE Kenya

By Hanna Azemati, KF9 Kenya

Our first Swahili class in the early morning tranquility of the still shuttered Prestige Plaza cafeteria in Kilimani was interjected with a myriad of embarrassing anecdotes of faux pas called forth by each new lesson that Lucy taught us. As Anne, Rachel and I, the three Nairobi Kiva Fellows, can attest, it behooves anyone new to Kenya to learn Swahili as promptly as possible and not because Kenyans don’t speak English. In fact, most Kenyans speak both official languages, English and Swahili, in addition to one of the sixty regional Bantu, Nilotic...

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Dec 12, 2009 TZ Tanzania

By Jennifer Gong, KF9 Tanzania

As my fellowship draws to a close, I would like to contribute my last post to a tradition set by past Tanzanian Kiva Fellows.  There is something unique about the country that fellows have been compelled to share.  Alec Lovett (a KF4 and my interviewer!) first started the series “You know you are in Tanzania when…” back in 2008 and later added a Vol 2.  Jara Small (KF5) brilliantly added her observations and wrote Vol 3.   In my 90 days here, I’ve been privy to witness some of the unique characteristics of Tanzania and its inhabitants....

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Dec 12, 2009 SN Senegal

By Nicki Goh, KF9 Senegal

Last week, I took my first field visit to the southern Casamance region of Senegal. Separated from the north of the country by the Gambia, the large Diola population of the Casamance region is primarily involved in fishing, rice cultivation and tourism. However, many SEM borrowers have other types of business: they sell vegetables, make clothing, rent bikes and bake bread. They make their livings providing new goods and services to their communities all thanks to loans that they have had from SEM and Kiva lenders.

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Dec 12, 2009 AM Armenia

By KF9, All Over The World

Merry Christmas! This holiday season Kiva Fellows are celebrating Christmas all over the world, in all sorts of different ways. Whether it be traveling, feasting, or working hard to bring you some additional Kiva magic over the holidays, it’s safe to say we’re all thankful to be serving as Kiva Fellows and glad to have found a wonderful community in Kiva.

We wanted to share what Christmas is like for KF9ers out in the field and around the world. So enjoy – and happy holidays!

In no particular order:

...

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Dec 12, 2009 TZ Tanzania

by Jennifer Gong, KF9 Tanzania

The Blue Sweater is a book that recounts the experiences of Jacqueline Novogratz, social venturer and founder of the Acumen Fund. The book contains a string of stories, but the most poignant is the tale behind the title of the book. When she was young, her uncle gave her a blue sweater, which she eventually outgrew and donated away. It would turn out that the journeys of Novogratz and the blue sweater would eventually cross paths a decade later in Rwanda – She, jogging along the dusty roads of Rwanda and it, covering the small frame of...

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