Stories tagged with Kenya

Oct 10, 2009 KE Kenya

By Anne Hector, KF9 Kenya

When last I posted (http://tiny.cc/pl68v), I was preparing to plunge into Nairobi traffic with the redoubtable intern, Mary Chege, to visit  the Kitengela branch to gather up loans and work with the lending officers on Kiva postings.

Kitengela is a small town of approximately 8000 located one hour southeast of Nairobi.  Once Mary and I successfully navigated our way there, one of SMEP’s local loan officers, Winnie Mwiti, took us out for the day on her usual rounds.  I had never been to a group...

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Oct 10, 2009 KE Kenya

by Rachel Brooks, KF9, Kenya

Faulu Kenya, where I recently began as a Fellow, has a full-time Kiva Coordinator, Zachary Muriithi. He’s a busy guy. He works long hours at Faulu, manages his several small farms, helps run a home for 24 orphans, and preaches on Sunday. He has old and new friends wherever we go and has become an active user of Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.

Still, Pastor Zach was excited for our first big task: completing a borrower verification process. We randomly picked ten of Faulu’s Kiva borrowers for a mini-audit and then...

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Oct 10, 2009 KE Kenya

By Anne Hector, KF9 Kenya

My microfinance institution is the Small and Micro Enterprise Programme of Kenya (SMEP) and it is located in Nairobi… not at the foot of the Ngong Hills, I have to admit, but it is very very near Ngong Road.

I am a new Kiva Fellow and proud member of its 9th class.  My project is to help SMEP move from its pilot program into an active phase with a healthy flow of loans posted on Kiva for funding.  Last week, I navigated my way to Nairobi, settled into a hotel, bought a local cell phone, found SMEP offices...

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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 KE Kenya

By Alison Carlman, KF8, Kenya

“ It’s this place, on the computer… like a bulletin board… where people post stories…”

Explaining Kiva isn’t easy.  It wasn’t easy for me to explain Kiva to my Mom, (no offense, Mom) – so imagine me trying to explain Kiva to a Kenyan farmer who’s never touched a computer and never even heard of “the internet.”

As lenders, some of us hope that Kiva borrowers daydream about us in the way that we daydream about them.  After all...

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Aug 8, 2009 KE Kenya

by Joel Carlman, KF8

As I enter the final week of my Kiva Fellowship here in Kisumu, Kenya, I find myself thinking about what my time here has taught me.  Kenya is so different from any place that I’ve ever been.  The smiles are brighter, the hand-shakes longer, and the hospitality warmer than just about anywhere.

I know that I’m doing microfinance, and that Kiva is about borrowing and lending.  The terms, the accounts, the figures, and financials are so interesting to me, and that can sometimes seem like what it is all about.  During my fellowship, I dove deep into...

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Aug 8, 2009 KE Kenya

By Jaclyn Berfond, KF8 Kenya

After a month of going out, interviewing borrowers every day, life can start to feel rather routine. Yet, all I have to do is look around – really look around at the slums where I have been working – and I know that Faulu’s work here in Nairobi is anything but routine.

Many fellows before me have offered poignant descriptions of slums around the world. Yet, I felt that the impact of the informal settlements (as they are so politically-correctly called) on my perceptions of poverty, economic empowerment and microfinance, as well as the...

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Aug 8, 2009 KE Kenya

By Alison Carlman, KF8,  Kenya

Kenya’s post election violence is probably far from the minds of most people in the world. After all – the contested election and its ensuing rioting happened in late 2007, and that was years ago. (See Former Kiva Fellow Zack Turner’s blog post from 2008 here, describing the conflict.) Surely you’d think that people were recovering from the trauma and have moved on with their lives.

Yes and no.

In my first several weeks of borrower interviews, a few borrowers brought up the violence when asked I about their challenges. ...

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Aug 8, 2009 KE Kenya

By Jaclyn Berfond, Laura Buhler, Alison Carlman, Joel Carlman and Cameron Morris

Last weekend the East African Kiva Fellows delegation descended upon the bustling streets of Kampala, Uganda and the banks of the Nile River for two days of intense knowledge transfer and mild revelry. We spent hours discussing the importance of data validity in performing operational cost analyses and tried to debunk the myth that OpenOffice does not properly save .csv files for uploading repayment information to PA2. We also had a little fun. We left Kampala feeling...

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Jul 7, 2009 KE Kenya

By Alison Carlman, KF8, Kenya

Consider yourself warned: this blog talks about maxipads. There. I said it. Now please keep reading.

Perhaps you’ve heard of  the “Girl Effect” campaign.  The “Girl Effect” is a about investing in what Africans call the “girl child” and how that can affect a country’s development.  According to The Girl Effect, an extra year in primary school statistically boosts girls’ future wages by 10% to 20%, and every additional year a girl spends in secondary school lifts her income by 15% to 25%. And you better believe that the size...

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