Stories from Kenya
Moses Ojwang grew up in Kibera and experienced firsthand the need to develop leadership and catalyze change among the slum’s youth. In 2008, he made improving his community a full-time career by joining Carolina for Kibera (CFK), an NGO partnered with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Kiva Zip. CFK works to expand opportunity for all residents in Kibera, and more specifically, to help them become economically independent.
The organization offers three comprehensive categories of service to the...Continue Reading >>
Wrapping up my fellowship in Kenya has prompted me to reflect on what I’m finding most valuable about my time here. Many experiences come to mind but the top two are: (1) being able to meet Kiva borrowers in the field and (2) being able to work closely with Kiva partners on the ground.
We spend a lot of time here focusing on Kiva borrowers and Kiva lenders. We highlight Kiva...
People say the train to Mombasa is a poor choice. It is a 16 hr. ride on average (bus is 9 hrs), when or if it leaves the station. Nick-named the “lunatic express” the Kenya Railway was built nearly a century ago and got its name after going insanely over budget. During construction over 2,500 workers died (malaria, lions, exhaustion) in an attempt to expand access to East Africa’s interior. Today the railroad runs between Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu. If it leaves the station and you have some flexibility in your schedule, it’s a beautiful way to see the Kenyan... Continue Reading >>
Last month, Kiva Zip Kenya proudly hosted the inaugural meeting of our Trustee Advisory board. Six top trustees are now taking on leadership roles as board members, creating more cohesion between key players in the program and helping guide its future.
The board will provide feedback on product changes and participate in decision-making on topics such as communication practices, borrower-trustees, and trainings. Together with Kiva Staff, they will meet monthly to discuss best practices surrounding the Zip...Continue Reading >>
I know Thanksgiving is a proper American holiday. Yet, Americans are certainly not the only people who have much to be thankful for. Like Christina Magro (a fellow Kiva Fellow in Nicaragua) eloquently highlighted, microfinance officers play a vital role in the Kiva process but their efforts can go undetected by the Kiva community.
... Continue Reading >>
According to UN Habitat, of the four million people who live in Nairobi, over 60% live in slums, 78% of which do not have running water in their homes. Many struggle to pay their rent of $10-35 per month and rarely have enough food to eat. Their children are very lucky if they are consistently able to attend school. For those in better conditions, this reality becomes all the more confronting when these people are your friends and relatives.
So, when Davis Mkoji got a call in early 2012 inviting him to test...Continue Reading >>
How is Kiva Zip, a direct lending program based on the internet and mobile money transfers, working without the aid of micro-finance institutions on the ground? It begins with and is upheld by one important group of individuals: local community members we train to be trustees.As we near our two year anniversary and celebrate our climbing repayment rate, now at 92%, we would like to honor our top-performing partners through a series of... Continue Reading >>
Earlier this month Kiva Zip celebrated a milestone of having disbursed its 1,000th loan to entrepreneurs in Kenya. What is unique about the Kiva Zip model is that it is a direct, person-to-person lending platform with 0% interest loans and no fees for the borrowers (learn more here!). We are very excited about the tremendous progress we have made and about the improvements we continue to make that allow us to better serve our borrowers, Trustees, and lenders.
Kiva Zip targets entrepreneurs with very small businesses and who can benefit from a loan as small as $50-$100...Continue Reading >>