Stories tagged with Kiva

Aug 8, 2014 US United States


Working with a borrower like Athene inspires me because she represents true ambition and commitment; both traits that are essential in becoming successful as an entrepreneur. 

Athene is the owner of Sweet Pea Prop Shop, an online store that sells newborn clothing to professional photographers as props. She created her business in an effort to re-integrate into a slowly recovering economy and to convert her dreams of entrepreneurship and creative self-expression into a reality. Her challenge to date has been keeping up with demand, which is why she needs a... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2014 KE Kenya
“We don’t think life can be more bad than here in Kenya right now…. we wish this to end soon,” says Joyce a 19-year-old Congolese refugee and single mother of two. 

In 2009, at the age of 15, Joyce and her family fled the war in Umoja, Democratic Republic of Congo in search of safe land. One day they heard on the radio that there was safety in Kenya. After two months of traveling, they arrived in Nairobi, with only enough money for some food, transport and the clothes on their back. 


After registering with the United Nation’s High Commission for... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 ZW Zimbabwe
I moved to South Africa from Zimbabwe two weeks ago for the second placement of my fellowship. As part of my work for expanding Kiva’s partnerships within South Africa, I have been meeting with lots of interesting organizations with very innovative business models. Whenever I mention that I worked in Zimbabwe before arriving to South Africa, they cannot stop talking about the entrepreneurial spirit of the Zimbabweans and how hard working individuals they are. 
 
They are so right. I can attest, first hand, to this fact. When I browse through pages of scribbles and... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 UG Uganda


As a dedication, this post is a bit of a departure from your regularly scheduled Kiva Fellows programming. For this I ask your forgiveness - I'm writing for a special reason, which you'll discover soon.
 
Given the amount of distressing news in the media lately, it can be easy to lose sight of all the kindness and compassion in the world. On a recent trip through western Uganda, I was reminded and inspired by numerous examples of humanity at its best.

Here are just a few:
 
As my colleague Sharon and I waited at the bus station in... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 CO Colombia

Its been 10 months since I left my previous job in Los Angeles and had the privilege to become a Kiva Fellow.  I began working in beautiful Kenya and am now in colorful Colombia. Though geographically far apart, there are more similarities between the two countries than one might think.
 
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Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
Village view from a matatu

As I approach the matatu stage I feel a bout of irritation.  Completely empty.  I am the first passenger to arrive, which undoubtedly means waiting for an indefinite amount of time until it is full and ready to head out.  I quickly text the Kiva borrower I am to visit to tell her I may be late.  Having been in this situation many times before, she messages me back with an understanding, “Don’t worry, you still come!”  I get in, pick the best seat, buy a few... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya

On a recent trip out of Nairobi, we arrived in Eldama Ravine, a small town of around 15,000 people in Kenya's Rift Valley Province.  On our arrival we were greeted by Benson, the local loan officer for SMEP Microfinance Bank, who proudly walked us down Eldama Ravine's main street, into a building containing a general store and an education center, and up two flights of stairs to a small office overlooking the busy local... 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 >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
While working on Kiva Zip operations in Kenya, I engage with Trustees (the volunteer backbone of the Kiva Zip model) every day, hearing their stories, experiences, issues, and very often-getting humble invitations to visit their borrowers. These visits are one of my favorite parts of my fellowship. This is when I get to see the impact of the Kiva Zip model on the ground.

CentralBusinessDistrict


Recently, I got to visit Kone Mory who is from Côte d’Ivoire, a country in west Africa. Kone is a... 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 >>

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