Sep 17, 2015 ZW Zimbabwe

A conversation with Angeline Murimirwa, Regional Director of Camfed   Angie Murimirwa is the Regional Director for Camfed, covering the whole of the Africa region.  As part of her high profile role, she has recently returned from a trip to Washington to join a panel with Michelle Obama, on the role of young women in the education of girls.  But Angie’s story could easily have been very different.  Her family (in rural Zimbabwe) did not have the money to pay secondary school fees. Fortunately, her case came to the attention of Camfed, who stepped in and... Continue Reading >>

Sep 15, 2015 DO Dominican Republic

The buzzing sound of a beat up old motorcycle disturbed the morning calm at the small town of Las Galeras (Samaná) in the Dominican Republic. "Moto concho - moto concho?", the driver loudly asked. "No gracias", I replied for the third time in the last five minutes, knowing i was the obvious target of the local moto taxi service, waiting for my ride at the side of the road. As I wiped the sweat off my forehead, i noticed a white pick-up truck slowly approaching my way. I held my breath as the driver leaned over rolling down the tinted passenger window. "Esperanza?", asked calmly. Reacting as... Continue Reading >>

Sep 15, 2015 PS Palestinian Territory

A Kiva Borrower, who found success in selling Arabic Coffee in the streets of Jenin, inspired me to write about the beverage that millions of people wake up to in the AM, to as well as some Ramadan beverages commonly consumed in Palestine! (Video)
Kiva sampling Mohamed's Arabic Coffee
The Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan in Palestine is a highly anticipated, spiritual, and sometimes lazy time of year. Some businesses, anticipating the obligatory 16-hour fasting this year (from 18 July - 17... Continue Reading >>

Aug 31, 2015 KH Cambodia

In Australia (where I'm from), we start learning about money early. From lessons about compound interest in mathematics to budgeting for a meal in home economics, financial "know-how" is considered a survival skill. The hope, it seems, is that when we start earning money we’ll be able to spend it wisely, save it and even invest it.   Some of us are more successful than others.  The point is that handling personal finances is not intuitive. It’s a skill that we learn. In rural Cambodia, the stakes couldn't be higher when it comes to managing your money. ... Continue Reading >>

Aug 20, 2015 US United States

My first visit to TriFusion Yoga is through a reference from April Spears, one of our Kiva Zip borrowers in Bayview. When I first walked in I was greeted with a relaxing scent from an incense and a friendly smile of Armando Luna, the owner of this awesome looking and peaceful yoga studio. The studio to me reflects potential economic growth to Bayview community and Armado’s passion for yoga. Despite a serious concern of the neighborhood over itsgang activities and petty crime, the studio stands to...

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Aug 13, 2015 RW Rwanda

This summer, I have the privilege of working with one of Kiva's Field Partners, Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB), in Kigali, Rwanda. As part of their semi-annual roadshow, the UOB management team traveled around Rwanda visiting each of the 13 branches and meeting borrowers. While UOB's default rate is low, 2.1%, the most recent roadshow focused on defaulted group loans (see definition below) with the desire to understand (1) why groups default and (2) how this can be prevented in the future.
Defaulted Group Loans: Loans that were...
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Aug 12, 2015 US United States

Jorge, City Saucery | Photo: Parris Whittingham |
Kiva Zip entrepreneurs in New York are a group of over 150 creative people with small businesses such as family farms, bakeries, media, and apparel. The Kiva Zip team is constantly inspired by the passion they put into their work but it's a really difficult feeling to convey to Kiva lenders, partners, and community. Our solution to this problem was to bring our entrepreneurs directly to the community! Over one hundred enthusiastic Kiva Zip... Continue Reading >>

Aug 12, 2015 AM Armenia

As I pass the halfway mark in my fellowship, I’ve been taking some time to reflect. A self-diagnosed pragmatic dreamer, I’m forever faced with the challenge of having to keep my feet on the ground but not wanting to let my dreams fly away. This period of reflection has led to an overload of questions that I struggle to answer when my heart is telling me what I want to hear but my mind is always there to provide a counterargument. Are we winning the FIGHT against poverty? What are the biggest BARRIERS in our way? How can we do BETTER? These are big issue questions and certainly worthy of... Continue Reading >>

Aug 9, 2015 PH Philippines

Since mid-July, I have been in Tagbilaran City, Bohol for my 2nd field placement in the Philippines with Community Economic Ventures, Inc. (CEVI), a partner of VisionFund International. As a popular tourist destination, Bohol, the tenth largest island of the Philippines, is famous for its beaches and resorts. I have heard from friends that Panglao Island, located at the southwestern tip of Bohol, is one of the top diving locations worldwide. However, I wanted to explore the lesser-known areas in Bohol (I know, how rebellious, right?), so I decided to go for a hike in Dimiao, about 36... Continue Reading >>

Aug 3, 2015 US United States

I was excited and a little bit nervous to actually meet Morsinah in person, as she was the first borrower I visited in my first week of the fellowship. After an hour-long conversation with her, I found out that we both have a lot in common. She originally is from Indonesia and had her Master’s in Urban Planning from Columbia University. More surprisingly, during her time at Columbia, she spent two years living in International House, New York City, where I now live in. We both also share a...

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