Stories tagged with blogsherpa

Feb 2, 2013 AZ Azerbaijan
Dimitri Zakharov | KF20 | Azerbaijan

It’s been 2 weeks since my arrival in Azerbaijan for my Kiva Fellowship and every day I grow more confused. 
 
Serving in Azerbaijan is a very different experience from the typical Kiva Fellow placement.  The scenes here of the capital, Baku, aren’t the stereotypical poverty we envision in Africa or south Asia.  By World Bank figures, Azerbaijan is wealthier than more than 54% of the world’s countries; amongst Kiva’s portfolio countries (which include the U.S., Israel, and Mexico... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 RW Rwanda
Kigali is in the mountains.  Way up in the mountains. As high as Denver, Colorado even.  But without any of the flat plains - except for the slim valleys snaking between the hills where there aren’t any houses presumably because of the looming threat of flooding.
 
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 >>
Feb 2, 2013 CO Colombia, HN Honduras, US United States

By Rose Larsen, KF19 Colombia, with excerpts provided by Wesley Schrock, KF19 Honduras, and Luan Nio, KF18 Nicaragua/KF19 United States

Loan officers are the hidden heroes behind the Kiva model.

Lenders, borrowers, Kiva staff and Kiva fellows all show their beautiful faces somewhere on Kiva.org, and while Kiva’s field partners have profiles of their own, there is little explanation or clarity behind who actually, physically, goes to the clients’ businesses, evaluates their requests, delivers loans and picks up repayments (hint: it’s loan officers!)....

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Feb 2, 2013 RW Rwanda



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...

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Jan 1, 2013 US United States

For the past four months, I have been serving as a Kiva Zip Fellow in Denver, Colorado.  As a fellow in the US I was required to work independently without the comfort of a home office or co-workers.  The Zip fellowship is in and of itself, very entrepreneurial.  First came research, then networking, then meetings, then events, then more networking.  I’ve met so many fascinating people and have come to know so many amazing organizations doing crucial work in my own backyard. 

The work of one organization in particular has really resonated with me...

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Jan 1, 2013 CO Colombia

Rose Larsen | KF19 | Colombia

After traveling for almost a month over Christmas holidays, I was struggling to figure out why I was so happy to be back “home” in Barranquilla, the hot, humid, chaotic city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia that I’ve been living in for the past 4 months. I had just visited places of incredible beauty like:

Montezuma, Costa Rica

Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua

and Medellin, Colombia.

But as much fun as I had, none of these places measured up.

Then I read the news and everything made sense.

... Continue Reading >>
Dec 12, 2012 SN Senegal

0041.jpgw300Squished amid the forcibly vertical crowd of 45 some odd people in a Senegalese bus made for “15 maximum!”  (or so the sign read…), arms glued to my sides and modeling a facial expression of utter discomfort, I overheard a jarring statistic shared in conversation between my neighbors:  25% of Senegal’s population is living in .3% of the land in Dakar.

Try to find empty space — I dare you.

The mind visual...

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Dec 12, 2012 IN India

By Irene Fung | KF19 | India

Water and Sanitation may not be the first issue that people associate with Kiva.  Entrepreneurs scoop up most of the headlines in micro-finance, but when it comes to alleviating poverty, other less publicized loan products are equally important. In fact, Kiva is committed to increasing peoples’ access to financial services to facilitate the development of water and sanitation, a key development challenge.

India has felt this challenge acutely with 67% of the rural households lacking any access to sanitation facilities. In Odisha, India...

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Dec 12, 2012 BJ Benin, CO Colombia, CR Costa Rica, HN Honduras, JO Jordan

By Kiva Fellows | KF19 | All Over the World

A Happy Holidays to the Kiva family everywhere!  May your celebrations be filled with foods and flavor, smiling faces, natural beauty, light and memories… here are some gifts from around the world courtesy of the Kiva Fellows 19th class:

On the Twelve Days of Christmas my Kiva Fellow gave to me…

Day 1: A Turtle Heading Out to...

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Dec 12, 2012 BJ Benin, GH Ghana, NG Nigeria, TG Togo

By Holly Sarkissian, KF 19,  Benin & Togo

In Benin, New Year’s Eve is a BIG HOLIDAY. I recently spoke with two Kiva borrowers about their plans to celebrate. Meet Flaure:

Flaure is currently saving money to celebrate the New Year. She plans to buy pagne (or colorful fabric) to make a new outfit for each member of the family. She will also celebrate by cooking a special meal and dancing with her friends and family.

Meet Romance of the Dieu Est Grand Group (God is Big Group):

Romance is looking forward to celebrating...

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