Stories tagged with Family and Community Empowerment

Nov 11, 2011 NP Nepal

By Abhinab Basnyat, KF 16, Nepal

I had always been fascinated by the textbook stories in micro-finance: loans to buy cattle or to start a small tea-shop that supported income generating activities and had a tangible impact on people’s lives. When I met Kiva borrowers, Narayan Devi and Binu, and heard their stories I suddenly had the visceral confirmation that had been amiss in textbooks. Yes, micro-finance loans played an influential role to uplift livelihoods. But more importantly, it was the borrowers’ multi-faceted entrepreneurship that magnified the impact of micro-...

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Nov 11, 2011 BO Bolivia

Eric Rindal – KF16 – La Paz, Bolivia

This Monday morning I woke up under new sheets on a small bed in a small room amid warm and verdant Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It took me 30 frantic and confused seconds to piece together where I was as the sun beamed through the cracks in the unfamiliar blinds. The day before I was living across the country for two weeks verifying loan terms of Kiva borrowers. Three weeks before that I was in La Paz, Bolivia for eight weeks creating new Kiva borrower profile templates. I wander, therefore I am…a Wandering Fellow.

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Nov 11, 2011 PH Philippines

In September of 2010, as a Kiva lender who was working in the school system at the time, I was pleased to see the announcement that Kiva would begin to investigate support of higher education loan products in a few countries. The higher education loan was an exciting idea because it had the potential to provide access to financial backing to those who wanted to pursue further education but were often limited by the lack of availability of funding in their country. The higher education loans hold much potential but it also introduces a whole other set of potentially troubling issues. As...

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Nov 11, 2011 NP Nepal

By Abhinab Basnyat, KF 16, Nepal

Kids playing on swings in Thecho village

Thecho village lies just six kilometers outside of Patan, a sub-municipality and headquarters of Lalitpur district. Thecho still has the charm of a village, albeit a rapidly changing one.

Corn being dried for planting next year

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Oct 10, 2011 UG Uganda

by Andrew Huelsenbeck, K16 Kiva Fellow, BRAC Uganda

The Second Bottom Line

One thing that’s gotten very popular with microfinance institutions (MFIs) lately is measuring success based on what is called a double bottom line. For a long time, the only bottom line for many MFIs was financials, but industry experts began to realize that looking good on paper did not amount to having any real social impact. This is why some MFIs have begun to use a second bottom line – social performance – as an additional metric...

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Oct 10, 2011 TJ Tajikistan

By Chris Paci, KF16, Tajikistan

Note: I have given Rahim a pseudonym to protect his privacy. Photos do not picture the locations mentioned in the text.

“Be careful,” called Rahim from somewhere above my head. It was pitch black, and I felt for each stair with the toe of my shoe, slowly working my way up to where Rahim stood. Shards of fallen concrete snapped beneath my boots.

Rahim was standing in front of a door and fiddling with his keys. “Sorry, we have no lightbulbs in the stairwell. It’s difficult to see,” he apologized, just as the lock snapped...

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Oct 10, 2011 PH Philippines

As I stepped out in the oppressive humidity of a Manila morning, my spirit was excited and ready to leave the protection of CCT head office’s wonderful air conditioning because this was the day I got to do another borrower verification. Previous fellows have shared different aspects of what a BV (Kiva speak for borrower verification) is and so for more detailed descriptions I will leave that up to them to share. ( Look here to see details of BV and here to see the conclusion to this fellow’s BV story).

There are different ways you can view what the BV does but I have enjoyed...

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Oct 10, 2011 RW Rwanda

By Kathrin Gerner and Whitney Webb, KF16, Rwanda

Praying Together: The Staff of Amasezerano at their Annual Trip

Before coming to Rwanda, we both had no idea what it meant to work for a Christian bank. Islamic banking, yes, that is something we had heard about before. But Christian banking?

To find out more, we interviewed the staff at our host microfinance institutions, Amasezerano Community Banking, Vision Finance Company and Urwego Opportunity Bank...

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Oct 10, 2011 PH Philippines

“To Luzon (Head office, NCR, C.Luzon, Rizal, Laguna-Cavite, Batangas) staff: Due to heavy rains and strong winds brought by Storm Pedring, management advised to stay at home. Work is suspended today. Kindly monitor our communities if help is needed. Ingat mga kapatid. God’s protection be upon us all!”

The view from my window. Manila Bay is typically completely stagnant water which is why the waves crashing over the break wall were alarming.

This was the text message I...

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Sep 9, 2011

Ouagadougou- pronounced Wagadugu and lovingly referred to as Ouaga by those who live here- is home to Micro Start, Kiva’s first partner in the small west African country of Burkina Faso.  If you’re like most, you’re wondering … Is that a country?  Where? I must know it by another name.  Is it a new country?  Why have I never heard of it?

Yes it’s a country. In West Africa. It’s previous name was the Republic of the Upper Volta (awesome).  No, it’s not a new country. I’m not sure why few have heard of it, but I would venture to guess because it’s small, stable, and poor. ...

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