Although there is a growing middle class in Africa, the lack of basic services, adequate infrastructure and access to banking are still pervasive. Rather than completely stifling growth, these deficiencies have become fertile ground for innovators whipping up solutions and products customized for the continent. In Africa, developmental challenges can be synonymous with opportunity. “We thank God for giving us many problems so that we can find solutions,” joked Kenyan Information and Communication secretary Bitange Ndemo to the Daily Nation at an IBM forum in February...Continue Reading >>
Stories from Kenya
Mary, far left, with the Sisal Sisters borrower group in Kakuyuni, near Tala, Kenya
The second day I was in Kenya I had the good fortune to spend the day with KADET staff profiling the top loan officer at the agency, Mary Ngenya, who works in the Tala region. Mary is considered THE BEST of approximately 80 loan officers in the entire organization which has offices all over Kenya; she manages one of the largest loan portfolios in the organization and in the six years since she’s been with KADET, her...
There is no shortage of articles documenting Africa’s position on the cusp of global development, with Kenya as a particular harbinger of those expectations. The Economist has reneged on writing off Africa as a “Hopeless Continent” several times since it featured the headline a decade ago. In 2011 it published “Africa Rising,” in which it identified 6 of the fastest growing countries in the world as African, with GDP growth surpassing East Asia. Last August, it...Continue Reading >>
Last week, a few local students came over to my apartment to share in the joy of cooking their favorite Kenyan dishes. While I tried my best to help, it was clear early in... Continue Reading >>
Six people, picked to be Kiva fellows. NOT picked to all live in the same house. But doing it anyways because apparently it’s harder than one thinks to find a four bedroom apartment in Nairobi!
Nairobi is overrun with... Continue Reading >>
By Kiva Fellows | KF19 | All Over the World
With January 2013 coming to an end, KF19 fellows are either continuing on with KF20 or returning home to various responsibilities and careers. Regardless of the next adventure or destination, one thing is common among all: KF19 fellows have been permanently changed by their placements.
What began as a joint blog post about any person, place, or event during the course of the fellowship that affected our lives, of itself turned into simply the one person who left the most impact. Afterall,...Continue Reading >>
Why should you fund a Kick Trading loan?
Kick trading, Kisumu Innovation Centre Kenya, was one of our favourite groups because the borrowers were enthusiastic and their workspace was bright. We entered to see some artisans painting, others selling items in the colourful stalls, as we ducked under hundred of mini wire bicycles and Santa Clauses in the outdoor workspace.
Kick trading provides training opportunities to young artisans and allows them to earn a fair wage. They are encouraged to be creative by hand making products using hyacinth and papyrus from Lake Victoria....Continue Reading >>
As you might have heard many times before, meeting with the borrowers is the most rewarding part of the fellowship. It’s always such a great feeling to meet the Kiva borrowers in person and see that the loans are actually making a big difference in their lives. When you work with Kiva Zip you also get the opportunity to meet our trustees, which are fantastic organizations and individuals that all have in common that they want to help low-income entrepreneurs to create a better life for themselves and their families.
During last week’s field visit, me and my colleagues Shy and Alyza...Continue Reading >>
As you might have heard many times before, meeting with the borrowers is the most rewarding part of the fellowship. It’s always such a great feeling to meet the Kiva borrowers in person and see that the loans are actually making a big difference in their lives. When you work with Kiva Zip you also get the opportunity to meet our trustees, who are fantastic organizations and individuals that all have in common that they want to help low income entrepreneurs to create a better life for themselves and their families.
During last week’s field visit, me and my colleagues Shy...Continue Reading >>
My colleague, Elin and I held back our emotions during a meeting with Dan Olga , a new Kiva Zip trustee. ‘What would you do if your children had not eaten food the night before and your husband had not sent money?’ Dan described how mothers would do anything for their children, even sleeping with a truck driver for 200 shillings ($2.30), so that they are able feed their children. Siaya, where Daniel is from and where he has started the Smart Center, is frequented by truck drivers on their way to Uganda and Rwanda. ...Continue Reading >>