Stories tagged with Kiva Team

Aug 8, 2009 VN Vietnam

by Michael Kasseris

Often times life is like a boxing match. You’re put into the ring with a challenge and you have some rounds to hash it out.  Once you’re in this figurative ring you have a few options: you can get scared and jump out of the ring, you could dance around for a few rounds, or you can try to engage the challenge and see how you hold up.  I know this metaphor sounds incredibly cliché, however it reminds me of a phrase our Fellows director told us way back in San Fran.  To prepare us for our experiences in the “microfinance mundo,” ( I borrowed this from Susan Arthur,...

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Aug 8, 2009 WS Samoa

By Athan Makansi -  KF8 – SPBD, Samoa


A picture captures a thousand words.  Here are a few thousand words from my past 9 weeks with Kiva Partner South Pacific Business Development in Samoa:

Beach in Savaii, Samoa

Although poor, Samoa has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Bright, white sand, dotted with fallen coconuts and perfected by the sound of rolling waves make Samoa a good place for...

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Aug 8, 2009 WS Samoa

By: Athan Makansi – KF8 – SPBD, Samoa

A few days ago my grandmother sent me an email:

Athie,

Thank you for your updates.  I have really enjoyed reading them.  I was wondering, from your experience in Samoa, do you think poverty is a state of mind?  Also do you think the women borrowers gain a sense of worth from access to financial services?

Love,

Grandma Nellie

I love you too Grandma, and you got me thinking.  So here’s my answer.

Many Samoans do not think of themselves as...

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Jul 7, 2009 GH Ghana

Hotel Obama

By Nancy Tuller

KF8, Cape Coast, Ghana, Africa

I knew President Obama was going to visit Ghana even before I came here, and was excited to think that perhaps on some off-chance I might meet him.  Ha!  After completing my first placement as a Kiva Fellow in the regional capital of Kumasi, I arrived in the country’s capital, Accra, on July 8th, and Obama arrived the next day on July 9th.  I went to several hotels and all were fully booked.  My taxi driver...

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Jul 7, 2009 WS Samoa

By: Athan Makansi – KF8 – SPBD, Samoa

Kiva is about stories.  From borrower profiles and journal updates, we learn about individual borrowers all over the world and their struggle to work themselves out of poverty.  But, some of the people most integral to the daily operations of Kiva are underrepresented on Kiva.org. Rarely do we hear stories about the credit officers all over the world who actually disburse the Kiva loans. Here are some profiles of the credit officers at South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) in Samoa.

At SPBD, the credit...

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Jul 7, 2009 VN Vietnam

by Michael Kasseris

There wasn’t much wind blowing through Hanoi that morning. The air was heavy and humid, like every step I took was like walking through a pool of water. It was my first morning in Hanoi and I needed to cross the street my hotel was on to hail a taxi. As I stepped closer to the edge of the sidewalk I noticed how fast the air was moving across my face. A swarm of motorbikes, taxis and trucks racing through the street swept the air past me and blew a cloud of dust in my eyes. Before I knew it my chances of crossing the street were over and the violent current of...

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Jun 6, 2009 WS Samoa

Athan Makansi – KF8 – Apia, Samoa

Jump on the Samoan time machine and watch as a few neighbors help prepare a delicious meal of taro, breadfruit, coconut cream, potatoes, chicken and tuna in a giant fire pit as Samoans have for many, many years.  But no, Samoans don’t make s’mores.

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Talofa (Hello), from Samoa.  I arrived last Friday in the glorious sunshine of Samoa, eager to...

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Jun 6, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8, Ghana, Africa

I have a professor and mentor from my undergraduate days whose advice and thoughts I value and respect so much.  I still communicate with him regularly, and over the years, the topic of interest rates in microfinance has come up repeatedly in our conversations.  This is the man from whom I first learned about community currency, an alternative exchange system used alongside national currencies.  He is knowledgeable about micro and macroeconomics, as well as finance.  However, our conversations about interest rates for microloans always end the...

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Jun 6, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8 Ghana, Africa

“Akwaaba!”  (Welcome!), I heard, over and over in my first few days here in Ghana, and what a wonderful welcome it has been!  When I stepped outside the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, my heart lept at the feel of the warm and humid summer night clinging to my skin and the cacophony of voices in Twi, which is the most commonly spoken language here in Ghana.  It sounded to me like a kind of chaotic harmony, blending perfectly with snatches of disparate Ghanaian music coming from various vehicles as I left the airport for my hotel.  Every face...

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May 5, 2009

Training week for the 8th class of Kiva Fellows (KF8) is wrapping up our fifth and final day.  We have another remarkable class of 27 people who will soon be heading to 18 different countries to work with Kiva’s MFI field partners.

This morning I got word that a couple of KF7′s were collaborating on a response to this new class of fellows and we made sure that the KF8 trainees watched each hilarious video.

KF8 viewing Brett Dobb's video from Kenya

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