Stories tagged with empowering women

Jul 7, 2016 HT Haiti
Outside of Haiti, little is known about these amazing and courageous women who oftentimes put their lives at risk every day to provide a better future for their families. A “Madan Sara” is a businesswoman who will travel to rural regions in the country to buy local goods and bring them to the city markets to sell. Normally, we find two types of Madans Sara: those who are wholesalers and those who work in the retail business by reselling large stocks in smaller portions.

It is a profession that is normally passed on from mothers to daughters, and in...
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Jun 6, 2016 UG Uganda
The first partner that I worked with as part of my Kiva Fellowship was a small group called YICE (Youth Initiative for Community Engagement). They are headquartered in the village of Kyakatebe (Pronounced Jak-a-te-be) within the sub-county of Nalutuntu within the district of Mubende, Uganda. This village is located about 2 hours west of the capital, Kampala. YICE is a small partner that provides loans to groups of 5 women who are mutually accountable for repayment. They require no collateral to guarantee the loan and they are flexible with repayments based on farming / market conditions. Many... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2016 RW Rwanda
Xaverine is the answer you will most likely get in Nyamasheke, a remote village in west Rwanda.

Xaverine and her knitting machine


The mother of eight taught herself how to use the knitting machine four years ago in the hopes of bringing in additional income to her large family. She has now secured contracts with local schools to knit the blue and white striped sweaters for all the village kids.

Not only does Xaverine support her own family, she wants her business to help the... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2016 RW Rwanda
Olive is only 24 years old but has already seen her business grow from strength to strength. What is the secret to her success? Eggs!

Olive showing off her stock


Three years ago, only 21 at the time, Olive started selling rice and vegetables at the market. Two years later she had managed to save up enough profits and take out a Kiva loan to set up her own wholesale business selling eggs.

Eggs are a staple food in Rwanda – high in nutrition, easy to cook and quick to eat – a clear... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2016 CR Costa Rica
“She was always fighting for women.” So said Elsa of her late mother, Lilliam. Elsa’s mom was a fierce advocate for women in their community of Upala, an agricultural zone in the northern region of Costa Rica. Elsa is now following in her mother’s footsteps, leading a local credit union that lends to, and is run by, only women. It is called Efecu. Efecu is one of the local organizations that finds borrowers to connect with Kiva and distributes Kiva loans.

Elsa, her mother, and other leaders of Efecu saw supporting women as absolutely critical. “We wanted to empower women, who are... Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2015 KE Kenya

There’s apparently a proverb that says you can’t wash the dust of Africa off your feet. Looking at my laptop, I realise just how dusty a place Kenya is in October. My camera, my phone, my clothes, my shoes – everything seems to have developed a layer of grime that’s gradually getting permanently worn in.

Nairobi has certainly played its part...

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Apr 4, 2015 ZW Zimbabwe
By far the most rewarding aspect of my Kiva Fellowship here in Zimbabwe, is the opportunity to meet individual Kiva borrowers and to understand from them, first hand, how they are using their loans to transform their lives. Sometimes, however, those accounts can be painful to hear.

Patience lives in the Gokwe district, in the north west of the country. I was slightly concerned about the trip to Gokwe: anyone I mentioned it to gave me a look of sympathy, mixed with a certain glee, at the prospect of the journey I was in for. I now know why. It’s a vast district, remote and quite... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2015 ZW Zimbabwe
What better time to showcase the amazing endurance and entrepreneurial spirit of Zimbabwean women than on International Women’s Day?
 
I was fortunate enough to sit down with two groups of women, The Mercedes Club Group and The Divine Touch Group, in Mutare, Zimbabwe. They discussed how the changing Zimbabwean economy has had an indirect impact on their families lives and their decision to start a business.  A few years ago the Zimbabwean economy took a turn for the worse, leaving many people without formal employment and a steady pay check....
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Mar 3, 2015 ZW Zimbabwe
We’d left at 6.30 in the morning, and travelled several hours through the district of Guruve, in Northern Zimbabwe, along increasingly potholed, flooded and narrow ‘roads’. Our aim was to visit Melter, one of the young women who have taken a Kiva loan through the local partner here in Zimbabwe, The Campaign for Female Education (Camfed). We’d come to find out how things were going with her poultry raising business.

Given the journey, we were at first slightly concerned to find she wasn’t at home: like the other Camfed ‘learner guides’ who receive Kiva loans, Melter is very active... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2015 KE Kenya
For three days in February, I visited Kiva borrowers in Nyanza Province near Lake Victoria in the southwest of Kenya. The visits took me to the city of Kisii and the nearby towns of Nyamira and Kenyenya via countless pickup truck, boda-boda, and matatu rides. Although it was invaluable to see a side of Kenya other than my base of Nairobi, the remoteness of the region gave me a new appreciation for the hard work that Kiva partners put in to service our clients.

A typical farm road in Kisii County
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