I chose to be a Kiva Fellow so I could devote my time and skills to the cause to alleviate poverty and to have an experience of a lifetime. Fully aware that I may never have the opportunity to spend an extended period of time in the Philippines again, I also wanted to be sure that I took complete advantage of all that the country had to offer. At the top of my ‘To Do’ list was to become a scuba certified diver (and overcome my fear of being underwater). In order to check an item off my bucket list, I planned a weekend in Dumaguete, Negros, to get my scuba diving license. On the way I met...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with KF12 (Kiva Fellows 12th Class)
Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa
Another week, another incredible range of dispatches from around the world. Several Fellows told their stories with video and pictures while others took time to reflect on the state of microfinance as a global...Continue Reading >>
It was a typical bright and sunny morning as I walked down the Talibon Pier towards the tiny boat that would take me island hopping for the day. I was greeted by six smiling loan officers already seated inside the boat; they watched as I maneuvered myself down steep sloping rocks, balanced on a beam to cross the water, and finally jumped onto the boat that would take me on an incredible forty-five minute ride through the Philippine Sea.
The water was calm, glistening under the sun’s rays. I couldn’t keep myself from uttering the same words over and over again: “This is so...Continue Reading >>
Last July, I sat in Kiva headquarters listening to speaker after speaker desperately trying to get a grasp on what life as a Kiva fellow would be like. Despite all my “international” experience, I don´t think anything could have prepared me for the adventure that was to come. Personally, I set out to discover how microfinance worked, IF it worked, and how it impacted the lives of the people it touched, but I really had no idea what lay ahead of me.
My two Kiva fellowships have allowed me to work with four separate institutions: FAPE and ASDIR in Guatemala and Arariwa and Manuela...Continue Reading >>
Social performance management (SPM) has become an increasingly important topic in the microfinance sector – concerned donors, funders, and individuals alike have been paying close attention to how microfinance institutions (MFIs) balance their financial and social goals. In order to get clients’ perspectives, our team at Community Economic Ventures, Inc. (CEVI) conducted focus group discussions (FGDs) with members across the 5 CEVI branches in the province of Bohol.
We developed interview guides/modules based on the CERISE SPI tool – creating questions and group...Continue Reading >>
By Ellen Willems, KF13, Ecuador
Las week I finished my Kiva Fellowship in Ecuador. During the past three months I traveled throughout the country to work at Kiva’s three Ecuadorian field partners. I believe that now, at the end of my Fellowship, is a good time to refer back to my first blog entry and, using my personal experiences, reflect on some of the topics mentioned there.
These reflections represent only my personal experiences and should by no means be considered anything more than that. I realize that my experiences are based on a relatively short stay in Ecuador and...Continue Reading >>
If you asked me what I have learned about microfinance during my Kiva Fellowship, I wouldn’t know where to start. I have learned that running a social business comes with its share of challenges. I have learned that technology will pave new ways for the future of microfinance. I have learned that the best microfinance organizations have their clients at the heart of all their activities. I could go on and on about my impressions of microfinance from the last six months…but in my final blog post, I will spare you. Instead, below I share with you my 5 favorite images (from the 1,667 photos I...Continue Reading >>
Cambodians have some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. During my visits to Kiva borrowers in August and September of 2010, I was given a glimpse of life in rural Cambodia. Below I present some of the challenges of taking photos in the field and also some of my favorite photographs from the borrower visits.... Continue Reading >>
By Eric Burdullis, KF12, Cuzco, Peru
As a Kiva Fellow, no two days are the same. One morning I will wake up at 5am to try to visit a borrower before they head out to work, and the next I’ll be in the office uploading loans or training the Kiva team on how to take a great picture or write a journal worth reading. In fact, as a Kiva Fellow, our job is so diverse that the Kiva staff creates long lists of things for us to do called deliverables. My favorite on these “To Dos” is Borrower Verifications. Essentially, we go into the field and do a spot check to make sure that...Continue Reading >>
Cambodia has a long and rich history in silk production and weaving dating back more than a thousand years. Women across southern Cambodia have looms in their homes, and they practice the art passed down from their mothers and grandmothers. But now the ancient craft is slowly dying as the cost of imported raw silk continues to climb while the price of finished silk textiles drops.
Silk weaving has been part of Cambodia culture for centuries. At Angkor Wat, the ancient temple complex built in the early 12th century, images of women wearing traditional silk garments that are...Continue Reading >>