I'm going where? Ukraine!
Being Kiva Fellow is being flexible, and for me that meant both the fear and the thrill of going where I'd never thought I'd go - the former Soviet Union! As a media fellow in Eastern Europe, I've been traveling and photographing Kiva borrowers in Southern Ukraine and Crimea - near the black sea - for about a month now. I've met farmers who have taken out loans for greenhouses, drip irrigation and small motor tillers through one of Kiva's field partners here - ACM (Agro Capital Management)....
Stories from Ukraine
I'm going where? Ukraine!
That’s probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Ukraine. Either that or the Soviet Union. It’s one of those former Soviet republics the world has forgotten. (Ukraine? That’s part of Russia, right?)
History hijacked, present overshadowed, future uncertain.
Those are, in a nutshell, the three fundamental reasons that Ukraine needs Kiva. And here are 7 striking examples.
... Continue Reading >>
For the last two months I've been living at a dacha, or cottage, where my parents-in-law live.
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1. If you’re traveling with a significant other, bring a padlock. (Don't worry, it's only for the Bridge of Love)
If you looked at this town from above you would see lines and lines of giant structures which could be mistaken for spaceships. The truth is that these are infact enormous greenhouses where thousands upon thousands of plants are nurtured from seed to fruit, ready for sale.
This town is also where many of HOPE Ukraine’s clients live, taking loans to build greenhouses, buy seeds, develop heating systems and ultimately make a profit to look after...Continue Reading >>
I have been in the Ukraine for a month now to work with HOPE Ukraine for my second Kiva fellowship. Whilst I was in Ghana for KF13 life felt very easy. I was really fortunate to be visiting clients on field trips most weeks, the sun was shining and life by the beach was very relaxing. In February I moved to the Ukraine for Kiva Fellowship number two and I’ll be honest, it was a bit of a challenge. I’m...Continue Reading >>
One of the first things I heard upon my arrival to Ukraine three months ago was the statement that “государство душит малого придпринимателя,” which means that the government is suffocating the small business owner. It is a sentiment that was present in all of my serious discussions with loan officers, small business owners and general Ukrainian public. I wanted to highlight this point because it is a serious concern for many of HOPE Ukraine’s clients – how to survive in an environment that hinders small business development?
Corruption is present and sometimes blatant in Ukraine,...Continue Reading >>
This year Zaporozhye is 240 years young!!!!
The city celebrated last night with a huge concert and a very impressive fireworks show on Festival Square. As your dedicated Kiva Fellow, I felt it was rather important to report on this rare and awesome occasion, and of course getting to know the popular singers on stage meant deeper cultural immersion.
Sadly, my fellowship in Ukraine will come to an end soon, but I will always treasure the memories from this 3 month Kiva adventure. Last night was just one of the many warm and fun moments I’ve had here.... Continue Reading >>
I would like to congratulate everyone with World Habitat Day!
It is designated by the United Nations to take place on the first Monday of each October, and this year’s theme “Better City, Better Life” focuses on the vision of sustainable urban development and creation of a home for people everywhere in the world.
The official message from the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and this year’s theme highlight challenges of urban poverty and the means by which local governments and the private sector can combat issues such as lack of fresh water, poor educational facilities,...Continue Reading >>
On a very basic level, every loan officer wants a healthy portfolio of clients. Delinquent loans or defaults are not only time and emotionally consuming to deal with, but can also be taken personally as they reflect poorly on the loan officer’s job. What every loan officer needs is reliable information to make the right decision about every new prospective client.
A loan officer at HOPE Ukraine pointed out the two main questions that any loan officer seeks to answer:
• Will the client be able to pay back the loan?
• Will the client...