Stories tagged with kiva fellows program

Oct 10, 2016 KH Cambodia

Coming into my fellowship, I was quite aware of some of the challenges of running microfinance operations. I knew that interest rates from certain microfinance institutions can be too high for borrowers to sustain repayments and that it takes a lot of manpower to disburse loans, perform loan assessments, and conduct verifications. But I only...

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Aug 8, 2016 MX Mexico
As a Kiva Fellow on my own in a new country, I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts. One of which, the Marketplace Tech podcast, has a game called Silicon Tally. Every week on Silicon Tally, the host and a guest try to guess the significance of numbers from that week’s tech news headlines that have been stripped from their context. Here’s my version, Mexico Tally, with this week’s focus on Sistema Biobolsa.

The numbers to guess are… 17, 196, 6%, 11, $260, $28-$40, 2.4 million+

While you prepare your guesses, I’ll provide a bit of background.
Sistema Biobolsa (... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2016 MX Mexico
Sistema Biobolsa's Credit Coordinator, Irene, with Don Antonio, a proud owner of a biodigester (featured in the background). Click here to lend to farmers like Don Antonio.

On a Tuesday night one month ago I arrived in Mexico City, welcomed by a massive down pour (summer is the rainy season here). By that Thursday afternoon, I was attempting to define key metrics for a credit program in Spanish with one of Kiva’s field partners, a social enterprise called Sistema Biobolsa. My head reeled with new vocabulary words... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2016 MG Madagascar
View of a surrounding village of Antsirabe, Madagascar

Madagascar is one of Kiva’s newest territory and I am the lucky first Fellow to ever work in the country and visit Vahatra, Kiva’s Field Partner in Antsirabe.

Vahatra’s mission is to improve the living conditions of poor families living on less than two dollars a day by promoting and assisting with the development of their economic and social autonomy. Vahatra offers microfinance services and training, social assistance,... Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2015 GT Guatemala
Around the majestic Lake Atitlán sits the small town know for its traditional weavings, San Juan La Laguna. I was graciously invited to learn about the weaving process from two borrowers who are part of the women’s cooperative Asociación Tz’utujil. Tz’utujil is the Mayan culture and language of those inhabitants who live around the lake. One Saturday morning, I took the 30-minute boat ride across the lake to see how this cooperative makes their weavings (scarves, table runners, shawls, bags, hammocks, etc.) from start to finish.

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Nov 11, 2014 GO Global Update

If you’re thinking about becoming a Kiva Fellow, there are a few invaluable skills you should develop prior to entering the field. This list has been tested and compiled based on multiple fellows’ experiences. If you can nail all five of these skills, you are on your way to becoming an excellent fellow. You’ll do Kiva proud.
1.     The ability to shower in a bucket.
The skill: It’s very likely that at some point during your fellowship, water for a shower will be unavailable. Sometimes for days.... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 UG Uganda
My Kiva Fellowship recently led me on a 930km trip through Western Uganda, where I visited a variety of borrowers living in rural areas. Although the journey was long and full of dust, sweat and bumpy roads, there were also many laughs, delicious foods and wonderful people along the way.

The purpose of this adventure was to meet with eight borrowers scattered around the countryside so that I could listen to their stories and verify that the information posted on Kiva was accurate. I’m pleased to report that the trip was successful on all counts!

The most touching... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2013 MN Mongolia

Spring has arrived in Mongolia! That means warmer weather (afternoons creeping closer and closer to the double digits)… and, of course, baby animals!

I had the opportunity to travel to Selenge ...

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