Nov 27, 2013 AL Albania, BR Brazil, CO Colombia, DE Germany, HT Haiti

As surprised as my family and friends were when I told them that I’m heading off to Kyrgyzstan, that’s about as surprised as my Kiva colleagues were when they found out that I’m also heading to Frankfurt, for a portion of my Kiva Fellowship. At first pass, Germany doesn’t seem like a country that would fit with Kiva’s non-profit microfinance orientation and mission statement. Yet, in Frankfurt, one of the world’s prominent financial centres, an innovative start-up and recent Kiva Field Partner, Yunus Social Business (“YSB”), is pushing the envelope of social business investing, globally and... Continue Reading >>


Nov 25, 2013 KE Kenya

One of the essential parts of the Kiva Zip model is the Trustee. Trustees are the organizations or individuals that work directly with Kiva Zip and help identify and support borrowers throughout the loan cycle. What those Trustees all have in common is that they are motivated by helping people and changing lives. Apart from that common vision, Trustees can differ a lot in terms of the services they provide. I have identified another commonality among several Kenyan Trustees, though - they not only help people but also the environment!

The Challenge One of the biggest...

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Nov 25, 2013 ID Indonesia

Filming for Kiva, Indonesia TAKE ONE
 
Where to begin? These past couple weeks in Indonesia passed by so quickly I don't even know where to start...
 
I suppose my journey in Indonesia began with us landing in Jakarta. Once landed, we had to spend a few hours sleeping at the airport before we made our way to the local train station. To all those who are considering staying at the airport or the train station overnight, make sure you choose the airport, because the train station was a bit sketchy. Luckily...
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Nov 22, 2013 SV El Salvador

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 >>


Nov 19, 2013 KE Kenya

 
KADET, Naivasha Branch: Me, Fridah, Pauline, Mildred, Stellah, Mike, Rose, Alice
I know Thanksgiving is a proper American holiday. Yet, Americans are certainly not the only people who have much to be thankful for.  Like Christina Magro (a fellow Kiva Fellow in Nicaragua)  eloquently highlighted, microfinance officers play a vital role in the Kiva process but their efforts can go undetected by the Kiva community. While setting up a ... Continue Reading >>


Nov 19, 2013 KE Kenya

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...

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Nov 18, 2013 PH Philippines

 Please note:  the following blog post was scheduled prior to Typhoon Haiyan. For the latest updates on our borrowers, Field Partners, field staff and Kiva Fellows in the region, please see our blog post here.  
Before our last day of filming in Manila, we had dinner with Michelle and Edwin at a local restaurant. The highlight of our night was when a small musical group, made of blind musicians, came to our table to sing (you pay a small amount). Edwin broke out his musical talent by playing the drums with his...
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Nov 17, 2013 GT Guatemala

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 >>


Nov 16, 2013 EC Ecuador

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 >>


Nov 16, 2013 KE Kenya

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 >>


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