Stories tagged with Countries

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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Dec 12, 2009 SN Senegal

By Ilmari Soininen, KF9 in Thies, Senegal

Christmas kicks off a serious week of celebration for Senegal’s Christian minority. Dispersed families unite, meaning a series of sept-place, clando and bus rides from the capital. Like in many parts of the world, roasted chicken (or turkey) is an important part of the Christmas menu here. The bird is carefully prepared, and cooked to tender perfection. Chicken is not an everyday treat for most of Senegal. Indeed, it is quite a luxury item. But why is this so? And can this tell us something about the country’s...

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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 SN Senegal
Ilmari Soininen KF9  UIMCEC Senegal

 

Many developing countries were just beginning to recover from the havoc caused by sky-rocketing food and fuel prices, when the last F-bomb hit – the financial crisis. A year in, what are the effects on Kiva’s borrowers, partner MFIs and the diverse array of countries we work in? Is there reason for optimism for the future?

Credit institutions issuing loans to local clients and then shuffling the risk to investors in the four corners of the world – hmmmm sounds oddly familiar. Fret not, Kiva is not responsible for the...

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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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Oct 10, 2009 PE Peru

By Shereef Zaki, KF9, Perú

Cultural issues surrounding privacy can be one of Kiva’s biggest challenges regarding implementation in the field. Not everyone wants their photo publicized and many hold suspicions when it comes time to sign a waiver. But I think the biggest challenge for Kiva is far more prosaic. The act of getting to a borrower can be an ordeal in and of itself, and things just got more ‘adventurous’ at my MFI.

EDPYME Alternativa has created a new loan product – called Capital Semilla or Seed Capital – destined specifically for clients who will become...

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Oct 10, 2009 TG Togo

By Jessica Chervin, KF9 Togo

Yesterday evening, West Africa made me giddy.

I have been in Togo for almost five months, and in West Africa for almost nine.  Here, my senses are never neutral.  The most lovely moments are tempered by inconvenience.  My daily moto rides to and from Microfund are at once thrilling and relaxing, but the soot and smell of burning garbage, the potholes that make Lome’s boulevards feel like urban mogul fields, and the passage by open landfills smack in the middle of the capital, tinge the experience with unpleasantness.  Sensory and...

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Oct 10, 2009 PE Peru

By Shereef Zaki, KF9, Perú

One of my first posts was titled ‘recession proof’’ in which I described the resilience of micro-businesses and the integrity of micro-lending. This time around, I want to detail a theme I had only painted with large brushstrokes.

Although EDPYME Alternativa’s borrowers are scattered throughout the region, I live in Chiclayo and it has become the backdrop and the context of my life. To me, one of the most fascinating parts of this small city is the dearth of big box stores. In their absence exists a constant buzz of small-scale commerce....

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Sep 9, 2009

Congratulations on finishing training… enjoy your graduation tonight!

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Sep 9, 2009 PE Peru

By Shereef Zaki, KF9, Perú

What do you want to be when you grow up? What are your hopes? What are your dreams?

Throughout my childhood, these questions constantly attached themselves to the most prosaic daily interactions. In a sense I, and most of my peers, were conditioned to be ambitious dreamers, convinced of the limitless possibilities our futures held (and still hold).

When speaking with borrowers one of our unstated goals as Kiva Fellows is to uncover their latent sense of possibility and excitement at the prospect of...

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