Why... Continue Reading >>
Stories from Rwanda
Why... Continue Reading >>
In light of this, numerous clean-energy organizations have stepped up to tackle this problem... Continue Reading >>
In a post-conflict country like Rwanda, the level of innovation and entrepreneurship, especially amongst women, continues to amaze me. Urwego Opportunity International has more than 50% female borrowers. Many women, post-genocide, embarked on the entrepreneurial route as a way of supporting their families and move towards a more prosperous future. I am curious to hear their stories, and how their lives have improved as a result of hard work and... Continue Reading >>
Billions of dollars are poured into development each year, and much of it goes to the periphery. My private school education in Ghana and Egypt, for example, was courtesy of American taxpayers funding agricultural development projects that... Continue Reading >>
Car engines roar as they try to make it up some of the hills. Only the most skilled manual transmission drivers can make it 50 Kigali-miles without stalling out. Even automatic transmission cars tend to stall on hills like these. At first, I wondered to myself why this... Continue Reading >>
On the plane to Kigali for my Kiva Fellowship at Urwego Opportunity International, I realise that my knowledge of Rwanda, the country of a thousand hills, is limited to the famous mountain gorillas and the tragic history of genocide in 1994.
I have little idea of what the people and the country will be like. Wary of the fact that everyone over 19 years old must have a significant story, I approach the city and its people with cautious optimism. I should not have been worried. Everywhere I go, gracious, smiling and incredibly polite people...
By Kiva Fellows in Africa, KF16
Compiled by Tejal Desai, Sierra Leone
Ow de body! Are Sierra Leone and Rwanda still danger zones? What challenges do Ugandans most commonly face? Kiva Fellows from KF16 bring you another unique perspective from the diverse and vast continent of Africa! We patched together an overview of each of our placement countries that includes: basic socioeconomic stats, common stereotypes (and to what extent they are true or false), greatest challenges, most common loan products at our respective field partners, and the borrowers’ most common use of...Continue Reading >>
By Whitney Webb, KF16, Rwanda
One of the biggest challenges of providing access to financial services to those living in poverty is the actual logistics of expanding the services into some of the most remote areas of the world. 92% of Rwandans live in rural areas. During my first field visit, I visited a small village near the border of Tanzania. After meeting several first time borrowers and hearing about their challenges and strong hopes for the future, we drove out onto the unpredictable mud roads.... Continue Reading >>
By Kathrin Gerner and Whitney Webb, KF16, Rwanda
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...Continue Reading >>
By Adam Cohn KF14, Rwanda
Before my Kiva fellowship, I had never considered the differences between the loans which appear on Kiva. To me, a loan was a loan, and the only difference was the story of each individual borrower. That’s actually far from the case, and as Urwego Opportunity Bank prepared to roll out their first agriculture loan product, to rice farmers in Rwanda, I quickly learned about the differences between agriculture...Continue Reading >>