Nov 8, 2013 GE Georgia

I'm currently in Georgia, working with Kiva partner LLC Credo and photographing Kiva borrowers with successful start-up businesses here. Credo offers start-up loans to Georgians with the lowest incomes - families with small farms, and urban small businesses.  Credo has over 90 loans up on the Kiva site now - fund a loan to an entrepreneur in Georgia, or give a gift for the holidays! Credo recently took me to Lagodekhi Georgia to meet Kiva borrowers, and attend a Village Day.  Lagodekhi is in east Georgia, next... Continue Reading >>


Nov 5, 2013 GT Guatemala

What: Festival de Sumpango - Barriletes Gigantes (Giant Kites) Where: Sumpango, Guatemala When: November 1st - El Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) Why? Huge, ginormous, spectacular kites! As I wrote in Jeff Nelson's excellent piece Potluck Series: Holidays From Around the World, Sumpango, Guatemala celebrates "The Day of the Dead" in a truly unique fashion. Aside from honoring loved ones who have passed away by visiting the cemetary and decorating their graves, the people of Sumpango celebrate by constructing, displaying and (sometimes) flying enormous kites made of tissue paper... Continue Reading >>


Nov 4, 2013 US United States

As a Kiva Zip fellow, one of the best aspects of the job, aside from helping financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs is the inspiring people you meet along the way. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this ‘goodwill’ amongst people is really infectious. It begins of course with the staff at Kiva HQ, which is right here in San Francisco, but it extends out into the wider community, where on your search for borrowers and trustees, you encounter folks that just feel good to be around.   On this particular day, after a twenty minute train ride south from San Francisco, I... Continue Reading >>


Nov 4, 2013 TZ Tanzania

Navigating Dar es Salaam Our first task of the day was to navigate our way to the south of town to meet with a group of Kiva Borrowers.  Getting around in Dar es Salaam is no easy task. For me, it always feels like an adventure.   I have great respect for the loan officers, staff at Tujijenge, borrowers, and everyone else that travel great distances each day to do their job.  Dar is the 9th fastest growing city in the world and one needs to look no further than the roads to see proof.  
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Nov 2, 2013 GO Global Update, GT Guatemala, IN India, MX Mexico, PE Peru

In "Potluck fashion" the following blog post includes the perspective of 6 different Kiva fellows placed in 4 different continents.  Each fellow bringing something different to the table. Our work with Kiva in microfinance is so rewarding that celebration seems inevitable.  Thus, we thought it worthwhile to share a glimpse into recent holidays that we have witnessed around the world. Join us on a quick tour of the festivities.   Mid Autumn Festival- Considered the second most important holiday tradition in Vietnam, Mid-Autumn festival is a... Continue Reading >>


Oct 31, 2013 KE Kenya

Earlier this month Kiva Zip celebrated a milestone of having disbursed its 1,000th loan to entrepreneurs in Kenya. What is unique about the Kiva Zip model is that it is a direct, person-to-person lending platform with 0% interest loans and no fees for the borrowers (learn more here!). We are very excited about the tremendous progress we have made and about the improvements we continue to make that allow us to better serve our borrowers, Trustees, and lenders.

Kiva Zip targets entrepreneurs with very small businesses and who can benefit from a loan as small as $50-$100...

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Oct 31, 2013 KG Kyrgyzstan

Many questions came my way when I let my family, friends and colleagues know that I am packing my bags and heading off to Kyrgyzstan for a few months.  “I’m going to volunteer with Kiva in Kyrgyzstan and help the American University of Central Asia!” “Wow! Great! Wait. What’s Kiva? Where’s Kyrgyzstan? What is an American university doing in Central Asia? There are a lot of holes in your story, is everything ok? Are you in trouble with the wrong people? What have you done?!” Many good questions, to which I had no real answers… until now! The following is a photo depiction of what... Continue Reading >>


Oct 26, 2013 KE Kenya

Smartphones are used by Honey Care's hive technicians to reach remote farmers with their beekeeping services.
Before I became a Kiva Fellow I was only an occassional lender with some dangerous assumptions about Kiva borrowers. These assumptions perpetuated my ignorance of borrower's creativity and business prowess.  More importantly, they limited me from increasing my lending portfolio and thus limiting my impact on people's lives.   It has taken me 2 months in Kenya to appreciate how savvy and creative... Continue Reading >>


Oct 25, 2013 EC Ecuador

US one-dollar coins
For those of you in the United States, when was the last time you paid for something or received change with a one-dollar coin? It is probably a rare occurrence, but not too surprising when it does happen. These coins are the Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea, or Presidential dollars. Since the 1970s millions of one-dollar coins have been put in circulation, but when we need to use a dollar in the United States, it is the paper money we usually exchange.   Did you know that in the country of Ecuador... Continue Reading >>


Oct 25, 2013 PH Philippines

 
Today was our last day out in the field working with NWTF and filming their borrowers. It was a bittersweet day, but a memorable one.
 
While filming for Kiva, we have been shooting both montage shots and borrower interviews. Our final day was meant to be shooting a montage shot of a lady named Levy and her Ginger Tumeric tea-making business. Like all of our montage shoots, it was meant to be short and sweet so as to not not take too much of the borrower's time. We finished filming Levy making the tea and as we were packing up our...
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