Stories tagged with Armenia

May 5, 2010 AM Armenia

By Peter Tashjian, KF11 Armenia

This is the title of an essay of one of my favorite thinkers, Michel De Montaigne. Per the author of the book “Michel De Montaigne, The complete Essays”, “Montaigne, despite his own mastery of language, despised words and admired deeds.” In the spirit of this essay, I’m going to keep this blog short and to the point.

What is microfinance? Per Wikipedia.org, “Microfinance is the provision of financial services to low-income clients, including consumers and the self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related...

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May 5, 2010 AM Armenia

By Peter Tashjian, KF11 Armenia

I guess that depends on what our understanding of the “world” is. Some have a limited view of the world and others very broad. For example, during love scenes in movies and mimicked exactly by viewers in real life, one partner looks into the eyes of another and romantically states, “you are my world”. Most watching the movie usually take a deep breath and release a longing sigh at the seeming beauty of the sentiment, though logically or practically speaking I have no idea what this means.

While we go around looking for that one...

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Apr 4, 2010 AM Armenia

By Peter Tashjian, KF11 Armenia

The last time I was this excited about a “network” was when I first used a browser to search the web.  Kiva goes where Google “Search” stops.  Kiva reaches the isolated and disconnected and connects them to “us”.  Google can only find and index the “connected”.  By reaching those not yet on the “Grid”, Kiva provides a platform to give the voiceless a voice and a face.  Like Google, Kiva is not perfect and is a work in progress but like Google its potential is limited only by our imagination.  Kiva like Google is a...

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Apr 4, 2010 AM Armenia

By Liz Nagle, K10 Armenia

Alongside Lake Sevan, traditional breeding ground of Armenian ishkhan (or Sevan trout), runs a highway dotted with low-roofed, boxlike structures and, in front of them, thick-jacketed men, bundled up against the late-winter chill. Traveling this route with a few staff members from Kiva’s Field Partner “Nor Horizon,” I observed a sales tactic the likes of which I’d never seen before.

At our approach, each man would take a step or two toward the road and stretch wide his arms, holding them out until we had passed.

I...

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Apr 4, 2010 AM Armenia

By Alexis Ohanian, KF10 Armenia. He co-founded reddit, started a company called breadpig, and loves lavash.

A business reporter I’ve befriended here in Yerevan once told me, “There’s one thing you can guarantee any businessman in Armenia will say in an interview — just ask him if his company is profitable. He’ll always say no.”

Only profitable companies pay taxes. There’s no reason to boast about being profitable – especially when it comes time to (...

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Dec 12, 2009 AM Armenia

By KF9, All Over The World

Merry Christmas! This holiday season Kiva Fellows are celebrating Christmas all over the world, in all sorts of different ways. Whether it be traveling, feasting, or working hard to bring you some additional Kiva magic over the holidays, it’s safe to say we’re all thankful to be serving as Kiva Fellows and glad to have found a wonderful community in Kiva.

We wanted to share what Christmas is like for KF9ers out in the field and around the world. So enjoy – and happy holidays!

In no particular order:

...

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Dec 12, 2009 AM Armenia

By Brian Kelly, KF9, Armenia

After making several visits to various borrower communities in the rural villages throughout Armenia, I started to notice a familiar figure emerge.  Each village seemed to have a mayor.  Not a mayor in the traditional, sash-wearing, top-hat donning, political scandal-causing sense, but a mayor of microfinance.

In these villages usually there is a central gathering place, often a community center where the credit officers meet borrower groups to finalize paperwork, originate loans,...

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Dec 12, 2009 AM Armenia

By Brian Kelly, KF9, Armenia

I have alluded to it several times in the past in some of my posts.  While maybe writing a sentence or mentioning a few words here or there, I think it deserves its own post because it’s turning out to be one of the central themes of what I have learned here about microfinance in Armenia.  The Human Factor.

Understanding your constituents is a vital part of doing business anywhere.  I think in microfinance this becomes especially important, specifically in...

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Dec 12, 2009 AM Armenia

By Brian Kelly, KF9, Armenia

The symbol of Karabakh, grandmother and grandfather

I wrote about a week ago before embarking on a trip to Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region southeast of Armenia known as being a conflict zone between Armenia and Azerbaijan.  I left in hopes of better grasping the political melee between the countries in the South Caucasus and how this plays into the Armenian identity.  Hopefully this would garner some insight into the role of...

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Nov 11, 2009 AM Armenia

By Brian Kelly, KF9, Armenia

Mt Ararat lies just across the Turkish border, miles from Yerevan, Armenia's capital

Since arriving in Armenia, I’ve tried as much as possible to be a sponge.  Attempting to soak up everything there is to know about microfinance, cultural tendencies here, and especially current political happenings. Coming from the United States, a relative kindergartener historically-speaking compared to cane-wielding Armenia, and without a...

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