Dec 27, 2013 KG Kyrgyzstan

I was in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for just under two weeks, meeting students who have received 0% interest Kiva loans through Kiva partner AUCA. AUCA is one of the top Universities in Kyrgyzstan, and all the student's I've met are thrilled to be a part of this unique American-style University. AUCA attracts students from all over Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia and from all different backgrounds.   
 
I met Almaz, who is an AUCA student on a full scholarship, so he doesn't have a Kiva loan. Almaz offered to take me...
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Dec 24, 2013 GO Global Update, VN Vietnam

Dien Bien, the day before Christmas,
Enjoy the road trip to commune
  As I wrap up my fellowship in Vietnam, I guess the best part of being a Kiva fellow that I have experienced so many odd events. Such as, coincidentally celebrated 5-year partnership with Kiva and Fund for Poor Thanh Hoa Women or worked with "latrine experts" at East Meets West. It feels like I relearn everything I knew before, Vietnam under a different perspective. 4 months pass by fast enough to make me realize that I haven’t been able to help... Continue Reading >>


Dec 24, 2013 MX Mexico

R.E.M once sang about “Losing My Religion”.  I was told that when someone uses this expression, it means that they’re going “loco”.  Oftentimes, religions that are practiced can bring a sense of serenity to an individual that carnal desires cannot.  People sacrifice their bodies, their vices, and even their dreams for a spot in the afterlife.  Or, perhaps to save souls from being condemned to a fate unbeknownst to even the most pessimistic fatalists.   Here in Mexico, I can assure you that nobody is losing his or her religion, figuratively or literally.  The... Continue Reading >>


Dec 22, 2013 AM Armenia

The work of a Kiva Fellow is busy and varied, but we also like to take in the sights while we are abroad.  One week this fall, I was able to spend a week with not one, but two other Kiva-ites.  Kiva Fellows Program Coordinator Shana Soltani came to Armenia to observe Liz Fish, Kiva Media Fellow, and me.  We had a great week of meeting borrowers and talking with the field partners, and on the weekend, we decided to visit 2 very interesting historical places near Yerevan: Garni and Gerhard.
Garni temple with Shana,...
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Dec 16, 2013 ID Indonesia

Filming for Kiva, Indonesia TAKE FOUR
Filming on the road leading up to Paulos' home. Photo credit: Yungkit
Area by Paulos's home. Photo credit: Yungkit
The second student that really caught Kiva's attention was Paulos. Ron, a fellow Kiva ...err...Fellow who is also currently working in Southeast Asia had met Paulos about a month ago and recommended that we interview him. Paulos lives...
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Dec 11, 2013 KE Kenya

Moses Ojwang grew up in Kibera and experienced firsthand the need to develop leadership and catalyze change among the slum’s youth. In 2008, he made improving his community a full-time career by joining Carolina for Kibera (CFK), an NGO partnered with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Kiva Zip. CFK works to expand opportunity for all residents in Kibera, and more specifically, to help them become economically independent. 

The organization offers three comprehensive categories of service to the community: (1) a free to low-cost health...

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Dec 10, 2013 GO Global Update, KE Kenya

"Loans That Change Lives" & "Farmers First!"
Wrapping up my fellowship in Kenya has prompted me to reflect on what I’m finding most valuable about my time here.  Many experiences come to mind but the top two are: (1) being able to meet Kiva borrowers in the field and (2) being able to work closely with Kiva partners on the ground. 
  We spend a lot of time here focusing on Kiva borrowers and Kiva lenders.  We highlight Kiva borrowers to...
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Dec 7, 2013 TZ Tanzania

My first work trip with Kiva started early at 4AM on a Sunday and ended with me flying back to Dar es Salaam 5 days later checking a bucket of fresh fish on the airplane.  The goal - train 2 of Tujijenge's branches in the Lake Zone on the Kiva process.     
My bucket of fish with other luggage
The taxi picked me up and 4 AM and I was headed to the Lake Zone for 5 days to train 2 branches on the Kiva process with my co-worker Yessya.  Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest... Continue Reading >>


Dec 6, 2013 ID Indonesia

Filming for Kiva, Indonesia Take THREE
 
After a few days, we were healing up - slowly but surely. Since we were in Indonesia for a limited amount of time, we could not afford to not be filming for too long. As such, with a gimp leg and a useless shoulder, we set out with Christina and Arda to our first day of real filming in the field.
 
The plan for filming in Cilacap was slightly different from what we were doing in the Philippines. Because Father Charlie (See Indonesia Take ONE for more info on him) had such a...
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Dec 4, 2013 AM Armenia

Over the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of working with Liz Fish, Kiva Media Fellow, in Armenia.  Liz has come with me on borrower verifications, and I have come with her on media visits.  Together we have met more borrowers than either one of us would have alone. Working in the offices of SEF and Nor Horizon, Kiva’s partners in Armenia, is great because it is obvious that the staff at both feel passionate about their work in helping low-income Armenians improve their businesses, expand their agriculture, and get an education.  As satisfying as the office work is, it... Continue Reading >>


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