Stories tagged with Africa

Nov 11, 2009 KE Kenya

By Rachel Brooks, KF9, Faulu Kenya

You'll never find Samuel's cash

The bed is the most common location, according to the Kenyans I asked. But the specific location varies. You can simply keep it between the mattress and the metal box springs or under your pillow or sheet, or you can be more creative. For instance, wrap the bills in paper and place them under one of the legs of the frame to appear as though you are leveling an uneven bed.

The second most...

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Nov 11, 2009 CM Cameroon

Saahkem Dorothy Muyang. 1954 - 2009.

By Dennis A. Espinoza, KF9, Grounded and Holistic Approach for People’s Empowerment (GHAPE) in Bamenda, Cameroon

I was working at my desk when Kenneth, my roommate and GHAPE loan officer, answered his phone and heard that ten year GHAPE member and Kiva borrower, Saahkem Dorothy Muyang, had passed away after a bout with diabetes.

Just glancing at Dorothy’s picture and noticing her beaming...

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Nov 11, 2009 TG Togo

By Nick Malouin, KF9, Togo

There’s something about traveling at high speeds in Africa that allows the mind to open up and do its best thinking. Maybe with the pot holes and daily frustrations left behind the brain can finally concentrate on something else. I had such an experience on a recent weekend trip to Lomé. Traveling at 60km/h, I had two hours to take in the beautiful scenery between Kpalimé and Lomé. The villages, usually a cacophony of noise and activity, had the brief illusion of serenity.

I started thinking about earlier that day when I met a client...

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Nov 11, 2009 SN Senegal

Ilmari Soininen

KF9  UIMCEC  Dakar, Senegal

Topping up one’s phone credit is never a problem in Dakar – on every street corner you will find one, or usually three or four young men hawking the same exact Orange Telecom cards. They offer the exact same cards, in the exact same spot, at the exact same time. Peanut vendors are equally ubiquitous, often stationed only a feet away from each other, selling the same peanuts, in the same 50 Franc increments.

These vendors often rarely have many other avenues for...

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Nov 11, 2009 TZ Tanzania

Rebecca Corey, KF9 Tanzania

The first time I got shoved out of the way in a mad rush to the dala-dala bus, my friend Victor said to me, “This is the local local lifestyle, pole sana–I’m very sorry.” The next time he said it was when the electricity went out and I was reading in the living room. “This is the local local, pole dada–sorry sister.” Then again when I had Malaria: “The Tanzania local local, pole sana, pole sana.” In the streets, when Tanzanians are shouting to me, “Mchina, mchina!” Chinese person, chinese person! : “They are local...

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Nov 11, 2009 TG Togo

Me and the other Africa-based Kiva Fellows (photo provided by John Briggs)

By Taylor Akin, KF9, Togo

In the months of preparation leading up to my Kiva Fellowship in Lomé, Togo I have had plenty of opportunity to practice my take on the taxicab test – a concise explanation of Kiva’s mission and the work of a Kiva Fellow. Upon completing my training at Kiva Headquarters in San Francisco, I felt confident in my ability to accurately explain Kiva’s...

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Nov 11, 2009 TZ Tanzania

By Jennifer Gong, KF9 Tanzania

YOSEFO has come a long way.  In 1997, it humbly opened its doors to 50 clients, for a total loan portfolio size of $5000.  However, with unwavering determination, it has succesfully expanded into 14 different communities around Dar es Salaam and has opened offices in Ifakara, Zanzibar, Kilwa and Tanga.  Today, YOSEFO can proudly claim to serve over 11,000 active clients and has seen its loan portfolio increase to $1.5m. This is definitely something to celebrate about, and celebrate we did!  To mark 12 successful years of serving Tanzania, my...

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Nov 11, 2009 KE Kenya

by Rachel Brooks, KF9, Kenya

My favorite Kiva field partner before I started my fellowship was Kisimu Medical & Education Trust, here in Kenya. At K-MET, microfinance is a smaller part of a community-based health organization. They offer loans to providers (many of them volunteers) so that they can maintain or improve their clinics and services. And they have these wonderfully innovative programs to help women and improve reproductive health.

But as much as programs like these make me go weak at the knees, I’ve also really come around to loving what the...

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Oct 10, 2009 RW Rwanda

By Gavin Sword, KF9 Rwanda

It is true that internationally, Rwanda is most known for the horrific events of 1994; a genocide that claimed the lives of more than 800,000 of its people.   There is no satisfactory way to comprehend what happened here.  Yet as a testament to the human spirit – life in Rwanda carries on.  The people I have encountered are not dwelling on the past – they are focused on the future.  Like people everywhere, they are intent on improving their circumstances, bettering themselves, connecting with others...

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Oct 10, 2009 TG Togo

Since arriving in Togo last week, a lot of my colleagues at FECECAV have asked how I actually got from Toronto to Kpalimé. Luckily, ten minutes into my trip I pulled out my trusty flip cam, which every Kiva Fellow has been given (thank you Flip!), and started shooting. The following 3-minute video is a condensed version of my trip, the full 16 hours of footage is available upon request.

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