Stories tagged with Kenya

Jan 1, 2011 KE Kenya

In the past decade, the African nation of Sudan was in the news because of massive violence in the region of Darfur. Today, the world watches as the country takes part in a referendum on the south’s potential secession from the north. Voting has gone on for one week and finished this past Sunday. In some areas of the south, over 80% of registered voters took part, and the stringent requirement of 60% total turnout needed for validity of the vote has been surpassed.

Relations between the north and south have historically been strained, not least because of the racial and...

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Jan 1, 2011 AM Armenia

By Kiva Fellows, Various corners of the globe

Around the world, Kiva Fellows are celebrating the start of 2011 in all sorts of different ways. Here’s what some KF13-ers are doing to ring in the New Year.

Enjoy and Happy 2011!

Ellen Willems, Ecuador

Ecuadorians, as I was told, celebrate the coming of the New Year, and more importantly the going of the “Old Year” by making “monigotes”. These are dolls made of old clothes, stuffed with newspapers or sawdust and sometimes with fireworks as well. They have masks made of papier...

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Dec 12, 2010 KE Kenya

In the summer of 2009, I spent a few weeks in the small East African nation of Rwanda. I was there as a student as well as an observer, one who could testify to others about conditions in Rwanda today. Like in any country, various standards of living could be found, from upper-class mansions to poverty-stricken slums. However, never before had I seen these extremes exist so closely together.

 More often than not, poverty is the result of circumstances difficult to change. Although people can be very resourceful in making the best of what they have, the trap of poverty is difficult...

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Dec 12, 2010 KE Kenya

By Tara Capsuto, KF 13, Kenya

Kenyans breathed a collective sigh of relief on Dec 15th when the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced the much anticipated list of Kenyan leaders suspected of organizing the violence following the disputed 2007 election that left 1,200 Kenyans dead and an estimated 500,000 more displaced from their homes. The list of 6 includes senior public officials like the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Minister of Higher Education, and the Head of Civil Service. Many questions remain as to whether this particular course of justice is the right...

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Dec 12, 2010 KE Kenya

So just how long does it take to feel comfortable in an entirely new place?

When I landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in July, I was determined to learn, absorb, and live like a Kenyan. It turns out this wasn’t the most realistic goal given barriers like the timeframe of 90 days and the whole mzungu factor. But I tried anyway.

My approach

I threw myself into the daily routine whenever possible. I commuted in matatus, picked up some Kiswahili, bought my daily liter of maji from the “cat lady” at the neighborhood kiosk, and...

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Dec 12, 2010 KE Kenya

By Tara Capsuto, KF13, Kenya

Nestled in the hills of Kikuyu farmland, 500 of Faulu Kenya’s dairy farming, matatu driving, and kiosk-owning clients gathered for a half day of telling their microfinance institution (MFI) what they really think. Faulu Kenya’s mission statement is, “To listen and empower Kenyans by providing relevant financial solutions.” Faulu, whose name means “success” in Swahili, is one of Kenya’s largest microfinance organizations, serving over 230,000 clients.  How do they make sense of the...

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Nov 11, 2010 KE Kenya

Time spent in the field working with branch staff, conversing with borrowers, and observing the day-to-day mechanics of microfinance is among the most favored aspects of the Kiva Fellowship. Stepping outside of the office and into the nooks and crannies of an unfamiliar land is fun and exciting…at first. But a simple day out and about can very quickly turn into a character-building experience, especially when faced with obstacles like the nonexistence of posted street signs or printed maps, fickle mobiles, and language barriers—all underneath the equatorial sun’s 90 degree rays.


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Nov 11, 2010 KE Kenya

This is the tale of how I ended up in the Nairobi airport feasting on two rounds of iced coffee, countless chocolate bars, multiple samosas, and even the sugar coated ice cubes at the bottom of the cup. Meanwhile, Sarah Curl lay collapsed atop a motel bed in a dusty Ugandan town where she may quite possibly remain until this very day.

A perk of the Kiva Fellowship is having friends who live and work in diverse locations around the globe. After a few months in Kenya, I decided to take advantage of this network of colleagues and visit a KF12 classmate in Kampala. This is the latest...

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Oct 10, 2010 KE Kenya

It’s 6:45 am, Lil Wayne is blasting in my ears and Tupac is staring me in the face. Welcome to my daily commute.

Good Morning, 2Pac

A ma-what-now?

Like most Mombasans, I travel around the island by matatu. These fourteen passenger vans function as the local transit system but experience more like party buses. They’re the most affordable way to get around...

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Sep 9, 2010 KE Kenya

Today we’d like to give a very special thank you to one of our top individual lenders, Brian!

Brian is a University Chancellor in Fairbanks, Alaska, and has been lending on Kiva for nearly 5 years. With 3,046 loans, Brian has literally uplifted thousands of lives all over the world through micro-finance. Having a personal connection is crucial to our mission at Kiva, and so in thanks for his continuous support, one of the borrowers he has lended to has a very special video message for Brian.

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