Stories tagged with KF9 (Kiva Fellows 9th Class)

Dec 12, 2012 KE Kenya

As you might have heard many times before, meeting with the borrowers is the most rewarding part of the fellowship. It’s always such a great feeling to meet the Kiva borrowers in person and see that the loans are actually making a big difference in their lives. When you work with Kiva Zip you also get the opportunity to meet our trustees, which are fantastic organizations and individuals that all have in common that they want to help low-income entrepreneurs to create a better life for themselves and their families.

During last week’s field visit, me and my colleagues Shy and Alyza...

Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2010 TG Togo

Amelegan Amegningnon; a smiling WAGES entrepreneur

By Taylor Akin, KF9, Togo

I began writing this blog on a scrap piece of paper just north of the Burkinabé/Ghanaian border. I had spent my morning walking across the border carrying a 40-pound pack and subsequently spending far too much money on a taxi into the nearest town. My Kiva Fellowship had ended a week and a half earlier, and I was sitting in a hot, dirty hotel room with a concrete floor, grimy walls, and inconsistent...

Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2010 VN Vietnam

My Kiva fellowship has officially ended.  I returned to the US two weeks ago and still have plenty of processing to do.  The only thing I am certain of is I have yet to understand what it all means down the road.  In some ways it seems a dream had ended.  But the vivid memories of specific moments that made it worthwhile spring me back into reality.  I can’t thank you enough for all the support from friends, family, Kiva Friends, my MFI, and the greater community.  Below is a clip of one of my last motorbike rides: returning to my apartment after visiting the Hanoi Hilton (Hoa Lo...

Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2010 VN Vietnam

What have I learned about the nonprofit world?  It’s complicated.  Not the hard to solve kind but rather the kind that consumes a half-century before a dent is made.

The above scene has been painted many times before.  And those looking to help often become discouraged when data starts pouring in.  However, each small action collectively creates that dent a half-century later.  And that dent is the worst case scenario implying plenty of upside potential to accomplish more.

As one contributor to the dent, microfinance assists those...

Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2010 VN Vietnam

By Alex Duong, KF9, Vietnam

“That’s my philosophy.  The key is to get up in that batter’s box and take a swing.  And all you have to do is hit one single, a couple of doubles, and an occasional home run out of every 10 at-bats, and you’re going to be the best hitter or the best business leader around.  You can’t play in the major leagues without having a lot of failures.
- John Donahoe, eBay CEO

Substitute “hitter” and “business leader” for microfinance institution and the quote is absolutely relevant. ...

Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2010 PY Paraguay

By Kimia Raafat, KF10 Paraguay

College students must pick a major.  They distress over the decision:  economics or accounting? Political science or general studies? Should I double-major? Add a concentration?  And throughout the process, there are many that pick one out of obligation (with no path in mind), they hope for the best, and of course, hope this decision will lead to future professional success.

Microfinance borrowers must pick a career—they risk taking out a loan to invest in their business. They distress over the decision: Despensa(general store...

Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2010 TG Togo

By Taylor Akin, KF9, Togo

Sleep-deprived and over-heated, I sat in front of the fan in the loan officers’ room. I had been waiting for a loan officer at the WAGES branch office in Hédzranawoé for over an hour and sat unmoving as the room buzzed with activity all around me. Loan officers ran in and out, clients sat down and stood up, phones rang and calls were made, passbooks opened and closed, pencils scratched paper, sweat stained foreheads. I looked at the loan officer sitting across the desk opposite me. Adam is one of the kindest people I have met since my time here at...

Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2010 KE Kenya

Seventeen young, scared faces sit around the board room for the full-day training of new marketers. I had been present the day that this new crop of SMEP employees was being interviewed. They had assembled en masse at our head office; many of them looking like the suit they were wearing had been hastily purchased at one of the local secondhand markets in anticipation of their first job interview.  In fact, they were what I refer to as “babies” the young-ish, newly graduated staffers whose faces more often look up at me when I am conducting trainings at the SMEP branch offices all over...

Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2010 VN Vietnam

After four months at ground zero, I hold certain things to be true.  There will always be a tradeoff between quality and quantity.  Also, sustainable aid does not include giving money away.  Microfinance, which encompasses interest bearing loans, is currently a lead contender for sustainable development.  Perhaps that is why it has peaked the interests of so many.  And until most recently, I was concerned its current state was not sustainable.  Why?  Many MFIs are experiencing double digit percentage gains and hitting numbers that make any for-profit enterprise envious.

...

Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2010 KE Kenya

This is a blog that I’ve written in a hurry so as not to let the words swirling in my head escape my fingers on the page. In my tenure at SMEP, I’ve never attended the weekly devotional, held every Monday morning from 8-10 in the morning. I always thought of myself as a secularist, and I assumed that attending would make me uncomfortable – after all, I come from a place where there is separation of church and everything. I’ve grown up in the deeply religious “bible belt” of the Southern United States, and I just assumed that at SMEP, the devotional...

Continue Reading >>

Pages