Stories tagged with Africa

Jun 6, 2009 RW Rwanda

“Allow me to introduce myself”, I’m Laura Buhler, a member of the KF8 class.

I am from Calgary, Canada and have found the transition to life in Rwanda to be very smooth, given just a couple of bumps in the road.

Exactly two weeks in to my Fellowship at Vision Finance Company (VFC) in Kigali, Rwanda, one baggage loss and one hospital visit later, I have settled in to life here in Rwanda. Since arriving, my mind has been flooded with questions and realizations about this new culture. In fact, I am sure that this constant thinking has been the factor that led to my lack of sleep...

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Jun 6, 2009 TZ Tanzania

After reading my post about BRAC Tanzania a few days ago, I imagine that many of you are just chomping at the bit to get more involved with the organization.

Oh you absolutely are, you say?

Well, you’re in luck. There is a BRAC Tanzania Lending Team on Kiva.org that you can join and be surrounded by fellow BRAC Tanzania enthusiasts! We only have 8 members right now, so you should really go to the site, join the lending team and help our BRAC Tanzania Lending Team grow to be as massive as BRAC itself!

Thanks to those 8 people who have joined and together already...

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Jun 6, 2009 TZ Tanzania

The concept of risk has been discussed by many, and often, over the past year, as citizens around the world voice their concerns about the global recession. Mortgage risk, loan risk, credit risk, bailout risk, risk assessment, risk of spending too much, risk of spending too little, and on and on. A lot of risky business (and not the underwear dance kind) has been going on and we are paying for it now in all too literal a way.

There is another kind of risk though; one that I think some of you may be familiar with. That’s right, it’s Risk, as in epic board game, world...

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Jun 6, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8 Ghana, Africa

“Akwaaba!”  (Welcome!), I heard, over and over in my first few days here in Ghana, and what a wonderful welcome it has been!  When I stepped outside the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, my heart lept at the feel of the warm and humid summer night clinging to my skin and the cacophony of voices in Twi, which is the most commonly spoken language here in Ghana.  It sounded to me like a kind of chaotic harmony, blending perfectly with snatches of disparate Ghanaian music coming from various vehicles as I left the airport for my hotel.  Every face...

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May 5, 2009 KE Kenya

By Brett Dobbs, KF7 Kenya

While an estimated half of Kenyans with AIDS are receiving anti-retroviral treatment, only about a third of Kenyan children are. In a Feb. 5th 2009 report issued by Human Rights Watch, the authors listed two primary reasons for the gap in care. The first, familiar to those in micro finance, is the lack of access to major health centers. Like banks, the best hospitals are located in major urban centers and cater to the slim minority that can afford steep hospital bills.

Second, many caregivers do not take their children for testing because of “stigma...

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May 5, 2009 KE Kenya

What I’m writing to tell you about is M-PESA! Usually it doesn’t have an exclamation point after it, but I put one there because every time I think about it, I get very excited. M-PESA!

Long story short, M stands for mobile and Pesa is Kiswahili for money. It’s a service that Safaricom, the most popular cell phone service in Kenya, offers (Zain, its largest competitor offers a similar service). Touted as a “branchless banking service”  M-PESA users can deposit and withdraw money on their phone by utilizing a network of agents stationed throughout the country – mostly...

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May 5, 2009 CM Cameroon

Fellow fellow Ashley and I had the honor of celebrating International Women’s Day with GHAPE borrowers on Sunday, March 8th, 2009.  It was quite the event: women dressed in kabas, which are the traditional Cameroonian dresses with various patterns and colors, and marched down the main street in Bamenda.  Women and men showed up in masses to the parade and many continued the party by drinking and eating with friends.

On a personal note, Women’s Day was one of my favorite memories of Cameroon.  There were tons of women out at the restaurants and bars enjoying themselves...

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May 5, 2009 UG Uganda

At the beginning of April, Grace and I began an effort to decentralize the Kiva process at Pearl. This is the formal way of saying that we planned to visit the branches and carry out a training program that would make the Kiva process such that we would no longer be required to rip our skirts, miss spending time with our families and friends and spend 4-8 hours per day bumping along the roads of Uganda in taxis (the minibuses that Grace wrote about in a previous post).

One of...

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Apr 4, 2009 SN Senegal

"Tea"

Over tiny cups of scalding, frothy sugar water that Senegalese people call “tea,” I have a chance daily to sit around with my fellow MFI employees and talk microfinance. The other day, I was sipping my tea with Moussa, a loan officer, and he told me about how credit is established in Senegal.  Now, in America, a credit rating is a logical thing, based on the percent of your total credit you’re using, the type, duration and size of your credits, and your...

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Apr 4, 2009 CM Cameroon
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As a Kiva fellow, one of my jobs is to attend the various centers during their bimonthly meetings.  At the meetings, I have found a routine: watch the groups gather and prepare their money to turn in, sing the GHAPE anthem, discuss upcoming events, and then while the loan officer works out money logistics, I interview Kiva borrowers.  As you can see from the video, the other day was slightly different.

...

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