Stories tagged with Lending

May 5, 2015 BO Bolivia
When you think of Kiva and microfinance in general, you might picture individual entrepreneurs improving their businesses or families accessing credit for pressing everyday needs. While these types of loans are very important, one of the things that sets Kiva apart from other microfinance organizations its dedication to supporting innovation to discover new, high impact loan products. In my fellowship with Kiva Partner CIDRE in Cochabamba, Bolivia I was lucky enough to see one such innovative loan in action.
 
Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in the world, and like... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2015 SB Solomon Islands
According to a World Bank press release published in 2014, the Solomon Islands has one of the lowest rates of electricity access in the world and some of the highest electricity prices. In rural areas, where most of the population lives, only about 6% of households are connected to the electricity grid (World Bank, 2014).

I just spent the last four weeks of my Kiva Fellowship in the Solomon Islands working with Kiva’s field partner, South Pacific Business Development (SPBD), and observed this situation first-hand.

As I accompanied SPBD’s field officers on their... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2015 KE Kenya
Conducting Borrower Verifications is one of the main responsibilities for many Kiva Fellows. A BV is essentially an audit of a borrower to ensure that they're a real person using their Kiva loan for its stated purpose and to assess its impact on their life. Needless to say, there's quite a few adventures to be had while spending three weeks on the road to do twenty BVs in Western Kenya. The following is an entry from my personal journal recounting one particularly trying day on the road.
May 4, 2015
Homa Bay, Kenya

We had a plan for my last set of...
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May 5, 2015 SV El Salvador, GT Guatemala
Blanca with bakery in the background

As the CrediCampo staff and myself walked up to Blanca’s house, we were hit with the aroma of freshly baked bread and cookies. From the outside it looked like a normal Salvadoran home, but inside was a fully operating bakery with a very motherly and warm 61-year old woman at the helm.

But life wasn’t always this sweet for Blanca. She had to forgo school as a youth and worked making tortillas in a rough area of the capital city for 30+ years to support her family.... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2015 UG Uganda
 Meet Jane, a young mother whom I recently hired as a porter in Southwestern Uganda.  The duties of a porter in Bwindi’s Impenetrable Forest are not unlike those of a Sherpa in the Himalayas, except instead of climbing mountains, they are tracking jungle animals.   Jane and I had a long and arduous day ahead as we set out with a team to pursue a family of Mountain Gorillas.  The goal was to find the gorilla family in its natural environment, purely for the joy and privilege of being in their midst.

...
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May 5, 2015 SB Solomon Islands
I love collecting seashells. Even if I don’t plan on looking for them, I rarely manage to walk along a beach without picking up a few pieces along the way.

So when I arrived in the Solomon Islands and heard about “shell money”, I immediately wanted to learn more. When I subsequently found out that one of the Kiva borrowers in the Solomon Islands makes shell money, I knew I would have to try to meet her!

Shell money is a traditional form of currency that was used in the Solomon Islands before bank notes were introduced. Some provinces still use shell money today,... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2015 CR Costa Rica
María Isabel has lived on her farm for fifteen years. Before that, she lived in the capital, San José. It was a hard life trying to earn a living when she didn’t complete school. But on her farm, María Isabel has been able to thrive.

Cows on the Range

María Isabel owns nine dairy cows and milks them every day. Then, twice a day she makes cheese and sour cream. María Isabel has many clients in her community because her products are fresh and less expensive than the stores in the area. She made sure... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2015 AF Afghanistan
I recently had the pleasure to speak with Rangina, a current Kiva borrower and the founder of Kandahar Treasure, an artisan organization established in 2003 and based in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Rangina is a member of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise (www.alllianceforartisanenterprise.org), a Kiva Field Partner which works with artisan groups globally to help them access needed financing and grow their businesses.
Rangina, founder of Kandahar Treasure

Kandahar Treasure provides work to over 400 women in... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2015 HN Honduras
Los Pinos Monquecagua Group in their potato field

As a Kiva Fellow working in Honduras, I have had the opportunity to visit an array of impressive borrowers, a large number of whom are smallholder farmers. Although their stories are inspiring, a common theme many have shared with me is the adverse impact of the middleman.

Locally referred to as an “intermediary” or “coyote,” the middleman will often be the only viable option many smallholder farmers have for both the purchase of agricultural inputs... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2015 PS Palestinian Territory
On March 27th, I ran the Palestine “Right to Movement” Marathon with 2,000+ other runners through the old city of Bethlehem in the West Bank.  Despite my fatigue, I was delighted to learn that female participation is a whopping 39%.  In fact, the winner of the women’s 10k, Nisreen Fawagrah, who finished only about 4 minutes after the male winner, is Palestinian.

At Faten, (Palestine for Credit & Development), one of KIVA’s MFI partners in Palestine, there’s plenty of female success stories. In fact, one of the top posts, Regional Manager for the Gaza Strip, a small... Continue Reading >>

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