Buenos dias a todos mis amigos. For the past two weeks I've been working with a tremendous new field partner in San Salvador, El Salvador called CONFRAS. CONFRAS (Confederation of Federations for Agrarian Reform in El Salvador in English) was founded in the 1980's during the El Salvadorean Civil War to further land reform efforts. Since then, it has grown to represent 100+ cooperatives that provide various services to over 4,000 farmers throughtout El Salvador. One cooperative with whom I've been working directly is ACAF. ACAF provides not only microcredit, but technical assistance and... Continue Reading >>
According to UN Habitat, of the four million people who live in Nairobi, over 60% live in slums, 78% of which do not have running water in their homes. Many struggle to pay their rent of $10-35 per month and rarely have enough food to eat. Their children are very lucky if they are consistently able to attend school. For those in better conditions, this reality becomes all the more confronting when these people are your friends and relatives.
So, when Davis Mkoji got a call in early 2012 inviting him to test out the newly-created Kiva Zip program, he...Continue Reading >>
Buenos dias a todos mis amigos. If you are like I was 75 days ago, you know very little about Guatemala. I'm not afraid to admit that I knew very little before my Fellowship - which both excited and horrified me. When I first learned that I was going to Guatemala I thought cool..wait...WHHHAAAATT?!!? Isn't that really, really dangerous. The short answer to this question is well...there is no short answer. Like many countries in Latin America, Guatemala does have very real problems problems with violence (mostly gang related), drug trafficking and poverty (approximatly 75% live... Continue Reading >>
Many of the Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) that Kiva partners with include poverty alleviation in their mission statements. To fulfill this mission, many MFIs realize that administering micro-loans needs to be combined with other supplemental support activities to be able to sustainably bring people out of poverty. Some services that MFIs offer can range from financial management courses, community development projects, business planning for new entrepreneurs, health insurance packages for entire families, just to name a few. They understand that the roots of poverty are much more than... Continue Reading >>
How is Kiva Zip, a direct lending program based on the internet and mobile money transfers, working without the aid of micro-finance institutions on the ground? It begins with and is upheld by one important group of individuals: local community members we train to be trustees.As we near our two year anniversary and celebrate our climbing repayment rate, now at 92%, we would like to honor our top-performing partners through a series of Trustee Spotlight blogs. While much of the focus goes to borrowers, understandably as they are our target population, we’d... Continue Reading >>
There are very few things I look forward to in the morning. Particularly here in Huatusco, Mexico I am not very fond of the ENORMOUS rooster next door that bellows 5am morning sermons to all the sinners (me) who dares to sleep in late. I also don’t look forward to having to uncover myself from my soft, warm and protective blankets that shield me from the cold, bitter mornings. However, the light at the end of the tunnel for me is knowing that my favorite meal of the day is breakfast, which is usually accompanied by a black cup of coffee. After... Continue Reading >>