This is the question I asked myself as I arrived in May at Fondo Esperanza (FE). After spending 3 months working with Fundación Mario Santo Domingo (FMSD) in Barranquilla, Colombia as part of KF14, I saw first hand how successful individual loans could be in helping people start and grow their own businesses. FMSD had used group lending in the past (and still has a small number of group loans), but found individual loans worked better for their clientele. Fast forward to my arrival at FE in Santiago, Chile: FE dropped individual loans in favor of communal banks about 9 years ago and is...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with Facilitation of Savings
By Nick Hamilton, KF13 Haiti and Dominican Republic, KF14 Colombia
I have now come to the end of my second placement as a Kiva Fellow. I have seen microfinance at work in two organisations – Interactuar and Esperanza International – in three different countries; Colombia, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. My 6-month stint has been an eye-opener. It’s been fun and interesting, challenging and frustrating.
I embarked on this journey knowing very little about microfinance. I had a notion of the supposed pros and cons of this exciting, largely...Continue Reading >>
By Claudine Emeott, KF14, Nepal
To sign off from my post as a Kiva Fellow with BPW Patan in Nepal, I thought that I would take a cue from Alexis Ditkowsky, who wrapped up her Fellows Blog contribution by leaving readers with a note that she wrote to lenders who have funneled loans to WDB in South Africa. Below is my own note to BPW Patan lenders, but the gratitude from the Kiva borrower featured below should be enjoyed by all.
Dear BPW Patan lenders,
As I wrap up my three-month Kiva Fellowship with BPW Patan in Nepal, I want to share a few highlights with you and thank...Continue Reading >>
By Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa
Everything is better when you have a neighborhood corner store. In Brooklyn – the last place I lived for more than four months – a bodega was almost always a good sign. Not only could you get food and drink whenever you pleased, but its presence was as if someone thoughtfully left the lights on so you didn’t have to stumble home in the dark.
South Africa enjoys an abundance of...Continue Reading >>
Austin Harris, KF11 Rwanda
Blue Financial Services is a Microfinance Institute (MFI) that began in 2001 and gained extensive coverage in Africa operating in 13 countries. The MFI champions itself as providing ethical microfinance to underbanked people of Africa. In 2007, Blue Financial Services Rwanda, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Blue Financial Services, was licensed as an MFI and started providing financial services, including salary advances, personal loans, home improvement loans, education loans, and debt consolidation. In June 2010, only three years after its...Continue Reading >>
By Anna Antoni, KF11, Indonesia
Sex. Ok, reproductive health. Let’s talk about reproductive health in a language you don’t speak. Ok, conversational, but far from professional. And now the setting: a women’s health training for clients from the Kiva field partner Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK) in a village in Bali, Indonesia.
When I REALLY realized this, I couldn’t stop wearing a huge happy grin before I started…
In a previous post I wrote about women in Indonesia, motivated by the national day for women’s emancipation in April and the fact that the Kiva...Continue Reading >>
When I was in grade school, we would start every year of Pilipino class with a lesson on what the Filipino traits were. The ones I particularly remember are: bahala na, pakikisama, hiya, mañana habit, and utang na loob. These five values inform every Kiva Fellow’s experience in the Philippines but also explain why many of the micro-entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to become borrowers in the first place. Literally translated, these words sometimes seem pejorative in English yet without understanding them, one would be hard-pressed to understand how...Continue Reading >>
By Meg Gray, KF9 Nicaragua
I’ve driven over some pretty terrible roads over the last three months. It doesn’t seem to matter if they’re gravel, paved, dirt, or a mixture of the three. In Nicaragua every road has character and usually this “character” makes it harder to get to CEPRODEL’s clients. Now besides being an inconvenience, why does this matter? It matters because...Continue Reading >>