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...
Stories tagged with blogsherpa
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...Continue Reading >>
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 >>
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.
The mind visual...Continue Reading >>
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...Continue Reading >>
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...Continue Reading >>
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...Continue Reading >>
Rose Larsen | KF19 | Colombia
San Jacinto de Bolivar, San Juan Nepomuceno and El Carmen de Bolivar are three tiny towns located in the same department of Colombia as Cartagena, though they are almost entirely ignored by the hordes of tourists who descend upon the “jewel of the Caribbean” each year.Continue Reading >>
The “End of the World” is coming this Friday and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
Living in the heart of the Mayan Empire has given me the opportunity to get to the bottom of all the “End of the World” rumors that I’m sure you’ve all heard about by now.
It has been said that the Mayans predicted the world’s demise to be scheduled for December 21, 2012, and just like any international apocalypse talk, marketing schemes and business ploys followed soon after.
I wanted to see if I...Continue Reading >>
It never ceases to amaze me how you can connect with people who are completely different from you. Maybe you don’t speak the same first language. Maybe you grew up on opposite sides of the world, or you were born in different decades. But somehow, despite all your differences—and perhaps against all odds—you find commonalities. And what’s more, sometimes you realize that below the surface, maybe you’re not actually all...Continue Reading >>