Stories tagged with Kenya

Oct 10, 2017 KE Kenya
Having lived and worked in Kenya for most of my life, I thought I knew a lot about the Microfinance space in the country. Well, all that changed when I joined VisionFund Kenya as a Kiva fellow a few months ago.

VisionFund Kenya (VFK) is a microfinance institution in Kenya founded in the year 2000 by World Vision Kenya. They have over 13 branches located in different parts of Kenya with a current customer base of over 16,000 borrowers, and their unique passion to better the lives of children is clearly stated in their vision statement: ''Our vision for every child, life in all its... Continue Reading >>
Sep 9, 2017 KE Kenya
ECLOF Kenya introduced climate-smart agriculture loan products in the year 2015 and the program has been doing well in the regions of Eastern Kenya ever since. In order to expand its program to other dairy farmers, Kiva and ECLOF Kenya are conducting an impact evaluation of the program.

During my first week on data collection for the evaluation in Embu, I was amazed by the work that is involved in farming activities and the technology that can be used to improve production. Embu is in the Eastern Region of Kenya, and below you can see a view of some of the farming areas in Embu.... Continue Reading >>
Jan 1, 2017 KE Kenya
As a Kiva Fellow in Kenya, I have had the privilege to work with farmers from Kiva’s partner, Asante Foundation. It’s an exciting time right now, as farmers are harvesting their first ginger crop that they planted in April. One borrower I met was Juma, an experienced maize farmer and a father of three who took a risk this year to venture into ginger farming.
 
 
Juma with his ginger harvest. Juma will use the income to buy land, build a house, and send his children to school.



... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2016 KE Kenya
“We have very productive land here. We just need enough water to grow our crops” Irene said repeatedly as we were taking a tour of her farm in Kalamba, Kenya. Irene and her family’s primary business is managing their three-acre farm that sits in Makueni County in central Kenya. On their land, Irene grows a variety of crops including peas, tomatoes, maize and mangos. While the family has had several successful months of higher than average yields, Irene expressed her anxiety of having enough water in the coming months as we toured her farm. Irene’s concerns were not unique. I also visited... Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2016 KE Kenya
For the past 60 years, economists have been researching and discussing asset diversification and Modern Portfolio Theory. Developed first by the Nobel Economist Harry Markowitz in his 1952 paper, Portfolio Selection, Modern Portfolio Theory is the study of “a choice of the mean and variance of a portfolio of assets” (1). Modern Portfolio Theory investigates the benefits of diversifying one’s wealth across different assets, be it land, houses, stock, bonds or other asset classes. A key hypothesis in the field is that through the diversification of assets, particularly among assets... Continue Reading >>
Sep 9, 2016 KE Kenya
Clean energy is a huge need for rural farmers in Kenya. Only 23% of Kenyans are connected to the grid, leaving the majority of the country without access to electricity. And when 85% of the population lives in rural areas, creating that access is not an easy task.

Kiva’s partner, Juhudi Kilimo is well known in Kenya for providing agricultural loans to lift rural farmers out of poverty, (such as loans to purchase dairy cows, chickens, and farming tools).  Although that is still at the core of what they do, they are now offering clean energy loans to farmers.... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2016 KE Kenya
The majority of Kenyans in rural areas are completely reliant on natural sources for all of their water needs; this includes bathing, washing clothes, cooking, and drinking. Unfortunately, these sources of water are in no way purified or fit for human consumption. Therefore, before it can be consumed, the water must be boiled to kill bacteria. This is an arduous process that not only requires time and money, but also has a lasting environmental impact – as coal is the source of heat for heating the water. Enter Evidence Action – a Kiva partner with a solution that addresses all three issues... Continue Reading >>
Dec 12, 2015 KE Kenya
In his first trip to the African continent, Pope Francis began his three-country tour in Nairobi, Kenya, which drew hundreds of thousands of adherents to the country’s capital. In his brief three-day stay in the country, Francis focused on the most marginalized in society, culminating in a trip to Kangemi, one of the 11 slums found throughout Nairobi.
 
A market place in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Njenga

 
            In... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2015 KE Kenya
Meeting borrowers may be the best part of being a Kiva Fellow. It's an incredibly enriching experience where we get to learn about the borrowers' lives; they all have businesses, homes, families, hopes, and dreams. Each of the dozens of farmers I met in Kenya had their own unique stories and here are a few of my favorites.

Benedate wants to help her neighbors improve their farms


Benedate is an entrepreneurial farmer with a variety of income streams to support her six children including maize,... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2015 KE Kenya
Conducting Borrower Verifications is one of the main responsibilities for many Kiva Fellows. A BV is essentially an audit of a borrower to ensure that they're a real person using their Kiva loan for its stated purpose and to assess its impact on their life. Needless to say, there's quite a few adventures to be had while spending three weeks on the road to do twenty BVs in Western Kenya. The following is an entry from my personal journal recounting one particularly trying day on the road.
May 4, 2015
Homa Bay, Kenya

We had a plan for my last set of...
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