Stories tagged with education

Mar 3, 2014 ZM Zambia
After three weeks in the field, I’ve just completed my ten Borrower Verifications for Kiva’s Field Partner, Zoona. I’ve traveled from the capital city, Lusaka, as far north as the Tanzania border at Nakonde, and as far south as Victoria Falls in Livingstone. With at least 3,000 km behind me, and 100+ hours in the field visiting with the entrepreneurs at the very heart of Kiva’s mission, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible and resilient individuals, and had the privilege of hearing their stories.

What has made Kiva’s platform so compelling and successful is the power... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2014 UG Uganda
Christine teaches me to eat jackfruit.


As Christine cut through a Jackfruit from a tree outside her mother’s home, I couldn’t help thinking about spare parts. I had just interviewed Christine following the completion of her Kiva loan to expand her automotive spare parts store in Uganda, and something about the concept of spare parts kept firing away in the back of my mind. As she showed me how to eat the enormous fruit, by cutting away smaller pieces and pulling out the seeds, I realized spare parts are... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2014 US United States



Alfredo is the owner of El Sereno Shoe Repair, a small business that has been family owned and operated in East LA for over 30 years and two generations.  He’s a hardworking, old-fashioned shoe cobbler that’s dedicated to serving his community with exceptional quality and customer service.
 
Eighteen years ago, 11-year-old Ezequiel Olvera approached Alfredo with an ask.  Ezequiel explained that he had invested in an old 10-cent gumball machine with the hope of making enough money to attend college.  He asked Alfredo if he’d be willing to... Continue Reading >>
Dec 12, 2013 KG Kyrgyzstan
I was in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for just under two weeks, meeting students who have received 0% interest Kiva loans through Kiva partner AUCA. AUCA is one of the top Universities in Kyrgyzstan, and all the student's I've met are thrilled to be a part of this unique American-style University. AUCA attracts students from all over Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia and from all different backgrounds....
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Dec 12, 2013 AM Armenia
Over the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of working with Liz Fish, Kiva Media Fellow, in Armenia.  Liz has come with me on borrower verifications, and I have come with her on media visits.  Together we have met more borrowers than either one of us would have alone.

Working in the offices of SEF and Nor Horizon, Kiva’s partners in Armenia, is great because it is obvious that the staff at both feel passionate about their work in helping low-income Armenians improve their businesses, expand their agriculture, and get an education.  As satisfying as the office... Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2013 KG Kyrgyzstan
Many questions came my way when I let my family, friends and colleagues know that I am packing my bags and heading off to Kyrgyzstan for a few months. 

“I’m going to volunteer with Kiva in Kyrgyzstan and help the American University of Central Asia!”

“Wow! Great! Wait. What’s Kiva? Where’s Kyrgyzstan? What is an American university doing in Central Asia? There are a lot of holes in your story, is everything ok? Are you in trouble with the...
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Oct 10, 2013 KE Kenya
Smartphones are used by Honey Care's hive technicians to reach remote farmers with their beekeeping services.



Before I became a Kiva Fellow I was only an occassional lender with some dangerous assumptions about Kiva borrowers. These assumptions perpetuated my ignorance of borrower's creativity and business prowess.  More importantly, they limited me from increasing my lending portfolio and thus limiting my impact on people's lives.  

It has taken me 2 months in Kenya to... Continue Reading >>
Sep 9, 2013 KE Kenya
As I sank into the plush seat on the overnight bus toward the Kenyan coast for the first time, I let out a sigh of relief. Nairobi, aptly dubbed “Nairobbery” by locals and expats for the high number of muggings, break-ins, and carjackings, was starting to wear me out.
 
“The coast is different,” my regular taxi driver had told me. “People aren’t as stressed out, and they enjoy life.”
 
It was true. Maybe it was the lingering humidity or the pristine beaches, but people sauntered through the streets in Mombasa as though to fill the senses with the salty air... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2013 KE Kenya

Kenneth holds up his kerosene lantern and proudly says, “I won’t need this one anymore!” He wipes the dust off the table and asks us to sit down. We follow his offer and start listening to his story....

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Jul 7, 2013 PE Peru
Alright, you caught me. No rivers were forded, nor were any woods traversed. Mostly dirt roads were traveled on and hillsides were (carefully) climbed.

Life in Peru has been wonderfully intense, exciting, tiring, and challenging over the last few weeks. I am not going to dwell on the awesome ceviche and seafood I have been fortunate enough to eat. Nor will I say much about the recent 5.1 earthquake that originated 50 miles off the coast of Lima (or 4.6, depending on where you get your earthquake news from).

...
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