Stories tagged with empowering women

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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Sep 9, 2014 GO Global Update

I have been in Kenya for almost 4 months now for my fellowship. Some of my time was spent in Nairobi, and some in western and rural parts of the country. Getting around by motorbike (“piki piki” or “boda boda”) is a way of life in Kenya. But I’ve never seen a female driver. Granted, it’s not an everyday occurrence in the western world either, but motorcycles in general are also not nearly so common.

Arriving in Kisumu, I thought I’d give it a try. After moving into my apartment I stepped outside to head for a grocery store. I saw a man with a kind face starting up his boda... Continue Reading >>
Sep 9, 2014 IN India
In clay pot: Ras Malai (my favorite); On plate: Rasgulla and Gulab Jamun


I was recently in Kolkata, India for a Kiva fellowship to work with BJS, one of Kiva's partners, to visit its borrowers and help develop catalytic loan products to further reach underserved populations.  Kolkata is a dynamic, vibrant city that is a marriage of the modernized and the developing. It was a captivating experience to be there, meet the people I met, and be a part of the local community, an intertwining of... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 GO Global Update

Traditionally Kenyan women have not been in the business of beekeeping. Beehives were historically kept very high in trees requiring the beekeeper to undertake a somewhat dangerous climb in order to service or retrieve the hive. Culturally, this was not considered an activity fit for Kenyan women. Now, with modern beekeeping techniques and tools, colonized hives can be managed from the ground.

For the first half of my Kiva fellowship I was placed with Honey Care Africa, an organization that gives Kiva loans to farmers for beehives and apiary materials. I attended a Honey... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2014 ZW Zimbabwe

So much unrest across Africa. From the tragedy of Nigeria’s Chibok girls stolen from their school, to the violence and terror overtaking Kenya, there are forces aligned that are determined to bind ...

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May 5, 2014 IN India


Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.” – UN WOMEN

Few people will argue about the importance of women empowerment, and its positive impact in society and economy, but what is the gap between studies and speeches and what’s really happening on the ground?

The election scene in India brought up new... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2014 IN India


Ten miles is a short distance for most of us, but for some women and children in rural India it means isolation from the rest of the world and probably during all their lives.

When I visited Parandih village in the District of Deoghar, Jarkhand, with Kiva Field Partner MicroGraam and their partnering NGO MESP, we were a big group caching the attention of many villagers. Being the only non Indian, for most kids I was probably the first foreigner they’ve ever seen.

This rural village of a hundred homes, like many in India, is not all that far from the... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2014 ZW Zimbabwe
"It was a very long journey,” he said in summation, his hands wrapped around his coffee cup and his tone as if weary at the memory.

“Yes. It...
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