Stories tagged with Countries

Sep 9, 2009 KE Kenya

by Joel Carlman, KF8

As a parting shot from my Kiva Fellowship, I put this short video together to represent what a “typical” Kenyan woman’s life is like. It doesn’t even begin to do justice to any of the great Kiva borrowers, but it’s at least my best attempt at immortalizing all of them!  Enjoy.

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Joel Carlman recently...

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Aug 8, 2009 BA Bosnia and Herzegovina

As time goes by in my work as a Kiva Fellow, I realize more and more how important the social mission of an MFI is. At my first placement, I was greatly impressed by Kiva’s partner in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I would like to share the story of this institution. Through Kiva, the relationship and the space for the borrower’s voice is not established solely because of technology, but because of the real person-to-person communication that an MFI has with its clients. If the MFI atmosphere and...

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Aug 8, 2009 VN Vietnam

by Michael Kasseris

Often times life is like a boxing match. You’re put into the ring with a challenge and you have some rounds to hash it out.  Once you’re in this figurative ring you have a few options: you can get scared and jump out of the ring, you could dance around for a few rounds, or you can try to engage the challenge and see how you hold up.  I know this metaphor sounds incredibly cliché, however it reminds me of a phrase our Fellows director told us way back in San Fran.  To prepare us for our experiences in the “microfinance mundo,” ( I borrowed this from Susan Arthur,...

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Aug 8, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Susan Arthur, KF8 (Kiva Fellow 8th Class) in Nicaragua

This week marks World Breastfeeding Week prompting me to contemplate how microfinance and breastfeeding play important roles in alleviating poverty.

More than 80% of Kiva entrepreneurs are women, many of whom are mothers with home-based businesses where they can easily satisfy their baby’s hunger and provide for their optimal growth by breastfeeding.  Indeed, on a few occasions, Kiva field partners have posted profile photos on Kiva’s site of borrowers nursing their babies.

Could breastfeeding rates...

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Jul 7, 2009 GH Ghana

Hotel Obama

By Nancy Tuller

KF8, Cape Coast, Ghana, Africa

I knew President Obama was going to visit Ghana even before I came here, and was excited to think that perhaps on some off-chance I might meet him.  Ha!  After completing my first placement as a Kiva Fellow in the regional capital of Kumasi, I arrived in the country’s capital, Accra, on July 8th, and Obama arrived the next day on July 9th.  I went to several hotels and all were fully booked.  My taxi driver...

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Jul 7, 2009 KE Kenya

By Joel Carlman, KF8 – Kisumu Medical & Education Trust – Kisumu, Kenya

Over the years, there have been many entries on this site (and on many others) about the popular topic of group lending.  The fact that borrowers gather once a week, or once a month to deal with any issues they might have or to keep each other accountable is incredible.  That group lending has tended to lead to higher repayment rates is a fun little factoid that practitioners of microfinance love to point out.  But, that only represents the utility of group lending.  Yes, it works, but...

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Jul 7, 2009 VN Vietnam

by Michael Kasseris

There wasn’t much wind blowing through Hanoi that morning. The air was heavy and humid, like every step I took was like walking through a pool of water. It was my first morning in Hanoi and I needed to cross the street my hotel was on to hail a taxi. As I stepped closer to the edge of the sidewalk I noticed how fast the air was moving across my face. A swarm of motorbikes, taxis and trucks racing through the street swept the air past me and blew a cloud of dust in my eyes. Before I knew it my chances of crossing the street were over and the violent current of...

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Jun 6, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8, Ghana, Africa

I have a professor and mentor from my undergraduate days whose advice and thoughts I value and respect so much.  I still communicate with him regularly, and over the years, the topic of interest rates in microfinance has come up repeatedly in our conversations.  This is the man from whom I first learned about community currency, an alternative exchange system used alongside national currencies.  He is knowledgeable about micro and macroeconomics, as well as finance.  However, our conversations about interest rates for microloans always end the...

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Jun 6, 2009 LB Lebanon

Over 7,000 miles away from San Francisco, I’ve finally arrived in Lebanon to start my fellowship with Al Majmoua , a microfinance institution based in Beirut but with mulitiple branches around the country. Flying from my last connection in Dubai to Beirut, we cross over an endless expanse of desert as we pass over Saudi Arabia and Jordan.  The desert starts to make way to rocky mountain peaks as we fly over Syria and finally I start to see specs of green -al-arz (the cedars) – I’ve arrived.

The noise from the screaming kids (in-flight entertainment system was broken-lovely) and...

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Mar 3, 2009 KH Cambodia

Kiva Happy Hour in Phnom Penh

I once heard that Kentucky Fried Chicken conducted a market survey on their brand and found that the words “Kentucky”, “Fried”, and “Chicken” each had negative psychological associations. Hence the change to the more deliciously ambiguous “KFC”.

If this is true, then “Kiva Happy Hour” must surely invoke feelings of warmth and joyous goodwill in most people. Take one fuzzy...

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