Stories tagged with Americas

Jul 7, 2011 EC Ecuador

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF15, Togo

A traditional Zulu hat (by Daniel Jung, South Africa)

Learn about the tradition of Zulu weddings in South Africa. Find out how Kiva’s partners adapt the concept of microfinance to fit their country-specific needs: from loans targeting borrowers affected by emigration in Ecuador, over a preference for group loans in El Salvador, to lending coupled with various training programs in Rwanda. Finish off your weekly reading...

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Jul 7, 2011 NI Nicaragua

…by Jason Jones, KF15, Nicaragua

I read an article the other day that discussed the inevitable end of the American soap opera.  It cited the rise of the various mid-day talk shows, reality shows, etc., for the fact that most viewers now prefer to tune into something other than their favorite daytime drama between the hours of 1 and 4 PM.  It seems that the classic icon of the 1980’s is slowly meeting its inevitable demise.  But although this lack of interest may be the case for the 300+ million individuals living in the large nation located between Canada and Mexico, I...

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May 5, 2011 CO Colombia

By Nick Hamilton, KF13 Haiti and Dominican Republic, KF14 Colombia

This is the final installment of a three-part article on ‘The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field.’ The first concentrated on the pros of microfinance and the second on the cons. This third part will describe what I deem to be the optimum conditions for successful microfinance.

The cons described in Part 2 of this article may come across as quite negative, but at Interactuar (in Antioquia, Colombia – my second Kiva Fellowship) I saw many being...

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May 5, 2011 CO Colombia

By Nick Hamilton, KF13 Haiti and Dominican Republic, KF14 Colombia

This is the second of a three-part article on ‘The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field’. The first part concentrated on the pros. The second will focus on the cons.

Most of the cons described below demonstrate one thing; microfinance assists on a micro level but is unable to affect macro-level influences. The latter are the main reason that people are impoverished in the first place.

During my time in Haiti and the Dominican Republic I generally found...

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May 5, 2011 CO Colombia

By Nick Hamilton, KF13 Haiti and Dominican Republic, KF14 Colombia

I have now come to the end of my second placement as a Kiva Fellow. I have seen microfinance at work in two organisations – Interactuar and Esperanza International – in three different countries; Colombia, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. My 6-month stint has been an eye-opener. It’s been fun and interesting, challenging and frustrating.

I embarked on this journey knowing very little about microfinance. I had a notion of the supposed pros and cons of this exciting, largely...

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May 5, 2011 CO Colombia

By Nick Hamilton, KF14

I have just come to the end of a 3-month Kiva Fellowship with Interactuar, Kiva’s Field Partner in the state of Antioquia, Colombia. I was blown away by this organisation. ‘The Google of Microfinance Institutions,’ I kept thinking to myself. 

Before coming to Colombia I had a firm belief that microloans alone weren’t enough, and that support services such as...

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May 5, 2011 BO Bolivia

By Nila Uthayakumar, KF14, Uganda, 

With the help of several other Fellows in the field

Borrowers of an MCDT solidarity group meet under the shade of a tree in Kampala, Uganda.

I’ve met all kinds of borrowers. From age 16 to 76; from orphans to a former beauty queen; from potato sellers to auto parts saleswomen to motorcycle transportation tycoons. I’ve met them in urban slums, in villages, in homes, on porches, in...

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Apr 4, 2011 PE Peru

By Noreen Giga, KF 14, Peru

Founded in 1986, Prisma is celebrating 25 years of bringing “financial services and non-financial services to disadvantaged communities in order to strengthen them, and promote sustainable social and economic development.” And the credit branch of Prisma, Microfinanzas Prisma, formed in 1994 is celebrating 17 years of reaching Peru’s urban and rural poor.

Microfinanzas Prisma extends throughout Peru with a total of 15 agencies and 10 offices in the country.

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Apr 4, 2011 AM Armenia

Compiled by Caree Edson, KF 14, Armenia

One of the unfortunate sight-seeing adventures that you never sign up for when you travel (especially in developing countries) is the unseemly amount of trash cluttering the otherwise beautiful landscapes. In Armenia, it isn’t possible to see the horizon through the smog most days and the streets are covered in cigarette butts and litter. I found no exceptions to this as I inquired from other Kiva Fellows about the dire situation in their countries. Environmental education and reform are simply not a top priority in many countries....

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Mar 3, 2011 CO Colombia

By Nick Hamilton, KF14, Colombia

I have been a big coffee drinker for some time now. As a do-it-all teenager with a large appetite for anything nocturnal, it was the powerful affects of the highly-caffeinated, instant variety that initially got me hooked. That all changed at university, however, when I first discovered the soothing delights of real, natural coffee.

After graduating from university I moved to London. Here, my relationship with coffee continued to blossom. Cafeterias across the capital competed for taste, texture and presentation, and they also...

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