Stories tagged with Vision Finance Company s.a. (VFC), a partner of World Vision International

Feb 2, 2013 RW Rwanda
Kigali is in the mountains.  Way up in the mountains. As high as Denver, Colorado even.  But without any of the flat plains - except for the slim valleys snaking between the hills where there aren’t any houses presumably because of the looming threat of flooding.
Car engines roar as they try to make it up some of the hills. Only the most skilled manual transmission drivers can make it 50 Kigali-miles without stalling out.  Even automatic transmission cars tend to stall on hills like these.  At first, I wondered to myself why this... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2011 RW Rwanda

Two and a half weeks before I left Australia for Kiva Fellow training, I discovered I would be working in Rwanda.  Combined with packing up and moving house, finishing work, preparing for Kiva and saying good-bye to friends and family, I didn’t have a lot of time to find out much about Rwanda before I arrived.  I’m still learning and will be for a long time after I leave.  Below are five things I would never have known if I hadn’t had the opportunity to live and work here.

1.     Plastic bags are illegal – since 2006 plastic bags have been replaced with brown paper...

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Dec 12, 2010 RW Rwanda

If you are a lender on Kiva then you may have an inkling of how I’m feeling as I write this blog.   Elated and…well…wondrous.

You know that feeling.  The one you get when you’ve gone online and put in your $25 towards a loan of $850.  Then, a few hours later you receive “the update” from Kiva; an email to say 33 other people have done the same thing.  The loan has been fully funded.

It’s a beautiful moment, where elegant software design harnesses people power.  There is something wondrous about it. It restores my faith in the world, in humanity.

So perhaps you...

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Jul 7, 2010 RW Rwanda

By Ron Turley KF11.5

I see that Kiva has begun to recognise those of us who are/have been fellows. On our lenders page, we have a distinctive Kiva “K” on our pictures, links to Kiva Fellow blogs we have posted and the name of the country and MFI with which we worked.

This is very embarrassing for me as I feel I did not earn any of it.

Three days after arriving in Kigali, I developed a medical condition that required me to be repatriated. I was there long enough to find accommodation, acquire a cell phone and Internet...

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Jun 6, 2010 RW Rwanda

By Ron Turley KF11.5

Last week my departure date was June 28th. Now it’s Monday that I will be off to Kigali Rwanda to work with Vision Finance Company (VFC).

Claude, my predecessor had been filling me on VFC and the things that he did there and has been most helpful in my quest to find accommodation. I have still yet to commit to any of the opportunities, but my preference would be to stay with a local family.

But the best advice Claude gave me was to read A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It...

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Dec 12, 2009 RW Rwanda

Gavin Sword KF9, Rwanda

Children are adaptable – this is what I have learned since my first post on our kids’ experience in Rwanda.  Christian and Savilla are different people than when we arrived and they have become accustomed to life in Rwanda.  Cold baths are met with resignation if not acceptance.  They now get excited when they see bugs and like to pick them up and give them names.  And the mosquito nets are cool now, like a special fort (for my son) or a princess’ veil (for my daughter).  This was NOT how they were in our first few weeks here. It is time for them to...

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Nov 11, 2009 RW Rwanda

Gavin Sword KF9 Rwanda

There is a TV show that profiles treacherous jobs around the world, the episode i recall was one about Alaskan King Crab Fishermen.  These brave men (typically) work night and day in stormy seas on slippery decks in frigid waters.  The ships are rocking violently with waves crashing over the decks – death just a misstep away.

Here in Rwanda on my drive to work each day, I see women who are employed as Street Sweepers doing a job that rivals the dangers faced by the men on these Alaskan...

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Nov 11, 2009 RW Rwanda

By Gavin Sword, KF9 Rwanda

The music of Africa conjures images of native dancers and handmade instruments – the drums, rhythms and dancing are mythical. Knowing I was coming to Africa, I was so looking forward to hearing the native music of Rwanda.  Music is one of the purest ways I know to experience and appreciate new cultures and connect with people.

During my time here, I have had a few occasions of hearing the native music of Rwanda and it was wonderful.  A church service and wedding ceremony I attended with traditional...

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Nov 11, 2009 RW Rwanda

Gavin Sword KF9

I read with great interest the very thoughtful blog by David Roodman: as well as the more sensational New York Times article about Kiva’s loan disbursement disclosure issues.  I agree that Kiva could have done a better job of explaining the nuanced realities of fund disbursement on its website.  And I think that insightful blogs aimed at holding Kiva accountable are useful and will serve to strengthen the organization. But beneath all the controversy, for many, I think a line blurred between connecting to an individual and controlling an outcome.


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Nov 11, 2009 RW Rwanda

By Gavin Sword KF9 Rwanda

I know this is not the first time that I’ve mentioned that my children are Rwandan.  We adopted Savilla and Christian in 2006 when they were both babies. Our girl turns 4 this month while our boy is a few months past 4.  They are the cutest, most adorable little people one could ever hope to know.  They are loving and friendly, kind to each other and to the people they meet.  Part of the reason I wanted to come to Rwanda as a Kiva Fellow was so that they could have the opportunity to spend time in the country of their birth.  To give them a chance...

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