Stories tagged with Kenya

Nov 11, 2012 KE Kenya

Exactly one month has passed since I arrived in Nairobi, Kenya. As a complete newbie in Africa, I had no idea what to expect when I first landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Before my arrival, I had done some research about the country that was going to be my home for the coming months. A quick google search on Nairobi informed me that Kenya’s capital is the 12th largest one in Africa, the name Nairobi is a Maasai phrase that translates to “cold water” and it’s located 1,800 meters above sea level. My internet search also informed me that...

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Oct 10, 2012 KE Kenya

Expanding Access to Higher Education in Kenya:

In January of 2012, Kiva, a microlending platform that aims to alleviate poverty by connecting lenders with borrowers who do not have access to traditional banking, partnered with Strathmore University, Kenya’s premier, private college, to launch a groundbreaking partnership in the financing...

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Sep 9, 2012 KE Kenya

Varick Schwartz | KF18 | Kenya

Kiva profile photo from mobile app

Juhudi loan officer using mobile app to capture Kiva profile info


When I applied to the Kiva Fellows program, I knew I’d be spending some time ‘in...

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Sep 9, 2012 KE Kenya

“Work collectively, live individually”

-  Tomáš Baťa, Founder of Bata Shoes

There’s a term I learned at Kiva training – “PIVOT”.

I think it’s a cool word.  For me pivoting evokes digging in one foot, turning on the spot, and heading in a completely different direction.

In Kiva Fellows training it was used to refer to the change in direction that Kiva was undertaking – motivating their current partners and bringing on new...

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Sep 9, 2012 KE Kenya

One of the most effective ways of improving Kiva’s relationship with its partners is travelling to the branches and providing Kiva Training.  Kiva training involves a refresher for the Credit Officers – the ones who make microfinance really work on the ground – about what Kiva is, how it works, why it’s important, what they need to do for a Kiva loan and finally – taking GREAT photos!

Now, I’m not a natural photographer, but as you can see from some...

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Aug 8, 2012 KE Kenya

My Fellowship workplan has been focused a little more on the technical side of things, with more application programming and appraisal analysis than borrower verifications. From such projects, and also because I come from a banking, lending and risk management background, it seems fitting to at least put forth some observations regarding the use of credit scores across the Kenya micro landscape. However, the way we approach credit scoring in the USA is almost opposite from current practices here, where aggregated financial data at the individual level could still be years away....

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Aug 8, 2012 KE Kenya

Sitting in the Virgin Atlantic flight to London after 10 weeks in the field, I knew of one thing with absolute certainty – Kenya will rightfully own a piece of me forever.

Never have I found myself in a new country, expecting it to change me. But Kenya surpassed all unreasonable expectations. Seeing such diversity of nature, living in local communities, soaking in the culture, meeting small people with big dreams… I transformed myself.

All because I followed a basic survival model I like to call -

The...

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Aug 8, 2012 GO Global Update

Muskan and Hussein, ready to ride out to Ol Jabet

It’s once again time for an update from our Fellows in KF-18. This week we have three posts from four fellows, all of whom are busy learning from and making a difference in their respective assignments. From looking for potential Kiva Zip borrowers in Kenya, to crossing a wide swatch of the South Punjab region in order to visit clients, these fellows will do what it takes to get the job done. And best of all, they are...

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Aug 8, 2012 KE Kenya

Visiting Kiva borrowers is always a special part of a Fellow’s experience.  Fellows are the lucky ones who actually go out and meet the people that Kiva capital helps.  In some cases we even get to meet the borrowers who we’ve lent money to directly – see Luan & Olivia’s terrific blog on True Connectedness!

As we ramp up Kiva Zip and assess our progress, we have had the additional pleasure of meeting the dynamic people and organizations that have been endorsed as trustees.  These folks are from diverse backgrounds –...

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Jul 7, 2012 GO Global Update

A Kiva client in Guatemala weaves a huipil, or traditional dress garment – David Gorgani, Guatemala

This week’s update from the field covers a number of Fellows’ experiences as they work on adapting their MFIs’ innovative products to Kiva lenders, as they continue to develop Kiva’s newest and most innovative initiatives, and as they continue to visit borrowers – in this case borrowers whose loans they themselves financed!  ...

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