Stories tagged with Senegal

Jul 7, 2011 SN Senegal

by Tim Young, KF15, Senegal

Burning tyres: the view from my bedroom window

“Y en a marre!” the radio shouts as our 4X4 makes its way along narrow dusty roads to a borrower meeting some 40 kms from Thies. It is the 28th June, the day after the latest serious riots here in Senegal and the four of us bouncing around in the car listen intently. Last night I arrived home to find the roundabout outside my flat once again blocked by burning tyres, while large crowds...

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Jun 6, 2011 SN Senegal
by Tim Young, KF15, Senegal

Kiva Fellows: Where are we going?

“You come here with your laptop computers, your malaria medicine and your little bottles of hand sanitizer and think you can change the outcome, huh?”

The flickering light from my laptop screen turns the inside of the mosquito net into a tent of shimmering blue silk. I reach out and take a doxycycline...

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May 5, 2011 CO Colombia

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field: Fixing the chain on the way to a repayment meeting in Haiti. Poor roads thwart borrowers and MFI loan officers alike.

This week in the field fellows across the world explore the factors that make microfinance and its successes a reality. In Kenya, we meet the actors who reach out to borrowers everyday, at any and all degrees of their own discomfort. In...

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May 5, 2011 SN Senegal

Abdoulaye, Loan Officer for the UIMCEC Yoff branch. Abdoulaye gave me a crash course on microfinance in his local community

By Tim Young, KF15, Senegal

Arriving in the field as a new Kiva Fellow is exhausting! First of all there are the challenges that come with any new job; new faces, a new organization, new ways of working. Add to this intense heat, constant noise and a need to try and keep up with your colleagues...

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Dec 12, 2010 SN Senegal

By Lorin Alvarez, KF13, Senegal

Coming from New York, the one thing that has taken me a little while to get used to has been the “pace” of things here in Senegal.  I have been programmed to always be on time for appointments and meetings;  allocate my  time as productively as possible;  and once on a project  or assignment,  get it finished as quickly as possible and move onto the next item on my agenda.  After all, my list of “things to do” at home never really seemed to be without at least 5 items on it at any given time.

Then I came to Senegal….. The first week or so while...

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Sep 9, 2010 SN Senegal

By Abigail Salisbury, KF12, Senegal

We all know the story of Marie Antoinette’s callous response upon being told that the people of France had no bread, right?  “Let them eat cake!”  Except she never actually said that, and the attributed saying didn’t involve cake, it referred to brioche, a rich bread made with eggs and butter.  Well, when Senegalese bakers went on strike this week, the only alternative really was eating brioche, and it made me think a bit about the limitations of microfinance.

Because Senegal spent many years under French...

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Apr 4, 2010 SN Senegal

Employees of Caurie Microfinance can be characterized by three traits: they work hard, long and passionately! How come?

Caurie staff in the branch of Louga, Senegal: hard work and an easy smile

Whatever branch of Caurie Microfinance I visit, from Louga in the north of Senegal to Vélingara in the south, the identification of employees with the institution is remarkable. Loan officers who work on loan contracts and Kiva profiles till midnight, supervisors who...

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Mar 3, 2010 SN Senegal

By Sam Trauffer, KF10, Senegal

When a lender looks at the profile of a borrower on, he is fed with lots of information about this individual. The reverse is not always the case, as Taylor Akin pointed out in her great blogpost. At least with lenders who have created a personal lender-profile, it is possible to create a two way communication which fulfills Kiva’s goal of connecting people through lending. Kevin Chaissan demonstrated a beautiful example in his post.

When I visit clients to get information for journal updates, I take a printout of their profile...

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Feb 2, 2010 SN Senegal

By Nick Malouin, KF10, Senegal

Whether at home or abroad no one likes to see people begging for money. In the countries where most Kiva Fellows come from it’s a sad sign of social dysfunction and a failure to provide adequate opportunities for everyone. But in the developing world could it actually be a sign of progress? After all, if a country can support begging, then it must be generating income beyond mere subsistence.

In Togo, where I spent my first three months, this seemed to be the case. Even in the major towns and cities I saw very little begging and...

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Jan 1, 2010 SN Senegal

KF9  Ilmari Soininen    UIMCEC,     Thies, Senegal

Over the last four months working in microfinance in urban Senegal, I have come across many clients who report increased income thanks to their loans. Fishmongers, clothing salesman, taxi drivers, you name it. Indeed, this has come to be expected – put the capital into the entrepreneur’s hands and he will surely put it to the most efficient use, and help bring his family out of poverty.

 Makes sense. But trying to tease out exactly by how much the client’s income has increased is not as straight forward....

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