Stories tagged with KF11 (Kiva Fellows 11th Class)

Sep 9, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda

I’ve now been in Uganda for 5 months, and today is the last day of my Kiva Fellowship.  Naturally the fellowship has had its ups and downs, but on the whole I’ve had a fantastic experience here working with Kiva, BRAC Uganda, and MCDT SACCO.  I feel very privileged to have gotten the chance to see how microfinance really works on the ground, and how it impacts the lives of borrowers.  Along the way I’ve amassed a few thoughts about my time here, Kiva’s operations, and microfinance in general, which I’ve...

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Sep 9, 2010 RW Rwanda

Monday September 6th was a national holiday here in Rwanda as the nation celebrated the inauguration of President Paul Kagame for a second seven year term.  Outside of the filled to capacity National Stadium, I, along with thousands of Rwandans, watched as President Kagame signed the Oath of Office and accepted the Instruments of Office – a copy of the Constitution, a National Flag, and a Coat of Arms.  Later he was given a spear and a shield, traditional symbols that signify his duty to protect the nation.

Elections were held on August 9th and President Kagame garnered 93...

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Sep 9, 2010

Austin Harris, KF11 Rwanda

Microfinance institutes (MFI’s) and large, commercial banks have traditionally offered different loan products and catered to a different clientele.  Most notably, MFI’s offer loans that are too small for large, commercial banks to consider.  In addition, microloans are distinctly different from traditional bank loans in that commercial bank loans are typically secured and offered at interest rates that are lower than those of microloans. Recently, however, large banks have been venturing into the microfinance realm, offering small loans that...

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Sep 9, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda


Do microfinance loans actually improve the lives of borrowers? This is an enormous question, and one that’s notoriously difficult to measure.  In an earlier post on social performance, I mentioned some of the issues involved with trying to obtain such a metric (chiefly: it’s expensive, it may ignore hard-to-measure social benefits of borrowing, and it’s tough to isolate microfinance loans as the sole reason a borrower’s income increases/decreases).  But despite those challenges, if microfinance is...

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Aug 8, 2010 TG Togo
 
By Leah Gage, KF 10 in Ukraine & KF11 in Togo
 

Today is my last day as a Kiva Fellow. Kiva Fellows Class number 10 (or KF10) took me to Zaporozhye, Ukraine where I worked with Kiva’s field partner HOPE Ukraine; KF11 brought me here to Lomé, Togo, where I work with two different field partners, Microfund Togo and Women and Associations for Gain both Economic and Social, or WAGES. I can’t think of two countries more...

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Aug 8, 2010 UG Uganda

By James Allman-Gulino, KF11 Uganda

For the regular visitors to the Kiva Fellows blog, I’m sure you have a good idea of how microfinance works and how Kiva fits in to the bigger picture.  However, newer visitors may be less familiar with some of the basic characteristics of the field.  With that in mind, I’ve created a “top 10” list of (hopefully) helpful facts about microfinance and Kiva’s operations:

1. Microfinance delivers financial services to poor individuals

Microfinance specifically offers services to those who don’t have adequate...

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Aug 8, 2010 DO Dominican Republic

by Magdalena Malinowska, KF11, Dominican Republic

Well, almost 100 days. A Kiva Fellowship lasts three months so my work with Esperanza International in the Dominican Republic and Haiti has lasted some 90 days. And so has my hands-on experience with micro-finance.

As a PhD student of Hispanic literature (at Boston University), it’s been quite an experience going from reading about the lives of others, like those described by Junot Diaz and Edwidge Danticat, to witnessing them first-hand on this historic island. During my Fellowship I have had the unique opportunity...

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Aug 8, 2010 AZ Azerbaijan

By Yelena Shuster, KF 11, Azerbaijan

For some, traveling abroad is an exotic means of recreation, for others it is a learning experience. I cannot find statistics reciting the numbers and nationalities of people who go abroad each year, but from my experience as a backpacker and Kiva fellow, most people who travel (either for leisure, student exchange or professional duties) come from one of the 32 developed countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan,...

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Aug 8, 2010 RW Rwanda

Child savings accounts have been provided by an array of groups, including non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), financial institutions, and national governments.  Each has its own method and agenda for providing the accounts.  A common form of these accounts is a regular savings account that is open to minors and either held in the minor’s name or jointly with a parent.  This product is generally delivered through the same channels as other savings products.  In addition to providing accounts, the group may also offer courses to teach financial literacy and lifestyle practices.  These...

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Aug 8, 2010 LR Liberia

As my time in Liberia comes to a close, I am reflecting back on all that I’ve learned over the last three months.  I’d like to pass along some helpful information to any readers who may be planning to travel to Liberia in the future.

Liberian English Is Way More “Liberian” Than It Is “English”

I assumed that since Liberians speak “Liberian English” that I would be able to understand them and that Liberians would be able to understand me.  As it turns out, neither of these things are true.  Liberian English is an English-based creole...

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