Stories tagged with rural

Sep 9, 2016 DO Dominican Republic
Sugarcane being transported for planting during the off season

After a couple of months in the capital of Santo Domingo, I headed to La Romana to visit a more rural branch office of Esperanza, one of Kiva’s partners in the Dominican Republic. For a little less than two weeks, I worked with the exceptionally welcoming La Romana staff to conduct a Borrower Verification (BV), an audit to ensure that Kiva partners administer your loans with the highest integrity.

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Aug 8, 2016 TL Timor-Leste
A view overlooking the coast of Dili (the capital of Timor-Leste)

What could crocodiles, coffee and collective impact possibly have in common (other than some ingenious alliteration)? As a Kiva fellow, I spent a month in Timor Leste (East Timor) and found that these three things offer a taste of Timor through their importance in the past, present and future of the country. 

First off, let’s take a step back. Timor Leste, where is that!? Timor Leste is one of the world’s newest and least... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2016 TJ Tajikistan
It is the fifth and last Kiva borrower visit for the day. It is something that we, Kiva Field Fellows, do as part of our placement with microfinance institutions (MFI) around the world.

A dusty and bumpy rural road brings us to the village where Habiba, a 52-years old school teacher, lives. A loan officer from one of Kiva’s three partner organisations in Tajikistan, Microcredit and Deposit Organisation Arvand, goes to the door to call for Habiba. A slender woman appears from inside the house and greets us in a soft voice with a kind smile on her lips. Russian happens to be my... Continue Reading >>
Sep 9, 2015 PE Peru
Proud papa of profitable plants

Shortly before leaving for my Kiva fellowship, I had an iced coffee so good that I thanked the barista.  Today, I got to thank the man who grew the beans--not the actual beans, probably, but the kind of high-quality beans that must have gone into such a drink.  Experts say that while Peru doesn't produce nearly the quantity of its famous neighbor, the quality of its coffee can be even bettter, in part because production is on such a small scale, mostly on tiny... Continue Reading >>
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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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 >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
Last week I travelled to Nakuru, a town to the northwest of Nairobi in Kenya's Rift Valley Province, about three hours away by matatu.  Matatus are the predominant mode of transport in Kenya and while they lack a few comforts - leg room, air conditioning, suspension, and any limit on the number of people that will attempt to fit inside one simultaneously - they have the benefits of being cheap, efficient and reliable, and handle Kenya's potholed roads reasonably well.  
Jackline and her clothing business in...
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Apr 4, 2014 US United States
Robert Breen and Mary Ellen Taylor bonding over lettuce & Kiva Zip. Photo by Ralph Alswang.

"It is overwhelming to me to feel that from a lending community, from people that I do not know, who are so generous and so giving, helping me to improve and grow my success in this business. It’s just awesome. We talk about it every day, what we’re going to do with the money. People are donating to us from Australia, from all parts of our country and across the world. It’s just fabulous to be able to... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2014 ID Indonesia

Ruma agents working at their shop (warung)

Many people have no doubt heard of the success of mobile banking in Kenya through M-PESA, a service that has expanded financial services to millions of rural East Africans.  In the East Asia and Pacific region, 55% of the population is unbanked.  At the same time, mobile phones are widespread – which begs the question: what is the holding the region back from experiencing a similar revolution in banking access?

The most...

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