Stories tagged with Kenya

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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Jul 7, 2009 KE Kenya

By Jaclyn Berfond, KF8 Kenya

As one of the last of the KF8 class to arrive in the field – Nairobi, Kenya to be exact – these last two weeks have certainly been a time of transition for me. So you can imagine my surprise, and comfort, when I found that both the MFIs I will be working with – the Small and Micro-Enterprise Programme (SMEP) and Faulu Kenya – were going through their own transitions…

Before I jump into that, however, let me first introduce myself as a newcomer to the Kiva Fellows blog. My name is Jaclyn, and I come from New York, via Geneva, Switzerland....

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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 KE Kenya

By Alison Carlman, KF8 – Kenya

As a graduate student of International Development at an African university, I wish that the answer was as simple as finding the “one thing” to alleviate poverty.  For marketing purposes, NGOs and “experts” tell us that the answer is so simple, whether it’s access to clean water, economic liberalization, universal healthcare, education, modernization, or microfinance. But 50 years of “Development” in practice teaches us that it’s not so black and white.

Kiva will be the first to tell you: microfinance is not the solution to poverty. ...

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Jun 6, 2009 KE Kenya

By John Briggs, KF8 Kenya

Update on sentiment shift: On June 23, Tom, the team captain for the (formerly) Pissed Off Kiva Lenders, changed the team name to Unhappy Kiva Lenders. Tom explained the name change in a posting on the team page: “I want the day to come soon when the team name will be ‘Delighted Again Kiva Lenders’ but the step above in the name change reflects current progress.”

Some Kiva lenders are pissed off about Kiva’s recent launch of loans to borrowers in the United States. Their angry cry has been heard in Kenya...

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Jun 6, 2009 KE Kenya

Joel Carlman – Kisumu, Kenya – KF8

Hello from Kisumu, Kenya! After 36 hours of flying and several very sound nights of sleep, I’m writing you from the offices of Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (K-MET), our Kiva field partner! I say our because I have the privilege of working alongside my wife, Alison Carlman throughout our Kiva Fellowship. What an experience!

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Jun 6, 2009 KE Kenya

Kiva is a crowdsourcer.

Crowds of lenders are the source of funds for Kiva borrowers. A very recent milestone quietly appeared on the Kiva statistics page — over half a million lenders have funded borrower loans on the Kiva website. That’s one big crowd!

There’s also a crowd of volunteers and avid Kiva boosters: hundreds of volunteer editors and translators, dozens of Kiva Fellows in the field, umpteen heroic souls who volunteer at Kiva headquarters in San Francisco, and the nearly five-thousand-strong group of Kiva Friends, the best compadres ever.

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