Jun 18, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8, Ghana, Africa

I have a professor and mentor from my undergraduate days whose advice and thoughts I value and respect so much.  I still communicate with him regularly, and over the years, the topic of interest rates in microfinance has come up repeatedly in our conversations.  This is the man from whom I first learned about community currency, an alternative exchange system used alongside national currencies.  He is knowledgeable about micro and macroeconomics, as well as finance.  However, our conversations about interest rates for microloans always end the...

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Jun 18, 2009 KE Kenya

Joel Carlman – Kisumu, Kenya – KF8

Hello from Kisumu, Kenya! After 36 hours of flying and several very sound nights of sleep, I’m writing you from the offices of Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (K-MET), our Kiva field partner! I say our because I have the privilege of working alongside my wife, Alison Carlman throughout our Kiva Fellowship. What an experience!

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Jun 17, 2009

At the fellows training some of my companeros seemed shocked that I’d want to do a fellowship in one of the most expensive cities in the world. I have to admit, I admire the cost of a Terere in Paraguay compared to price of latte in NYC. Regardless, it’s been an incredible experience to participate with Kiva on the US launch.

In many ways the fellowship, the entreprenuers, even New York City itself has at times seemed enormously comparable to a fellowship in a developing country (I mean have you used the subways here!!!???).  But about the cause…

Why US...

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Jun 17, 2009 PE Peru

In a desperate last-minute attempt to get my name off the top of the “least-blogging fellows” list and fulfill my grandma’s request for more blogs, I’d like to share some of my favorite photos from my 10-week placement at Asociacion Arariwa in Cusco, Peru.

Arariwa is an amazing organization with an extremely dedicated group of loan officers. I was consistently impressed with loan officers’ dedication to their clients—not just putting in long hours for little pay and running risks by carrying cash, but in some cases even relocating to remote villages in order to serve clients without...

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Jun 17, 2009 NI Nicaragua

Ashley Nelsen KF 7/8 Nicaragua

The latest news from Nicaragua has unfortunately been the decision by the United Nations to cancel $62 million dollars worth to funds destined to assist in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are eight goals created by the United Nations to combat some of the developing world’s most pressing problems such as improved access to education and health. The decision to revoke the funds is a direct result of electoral fraud that occurred last fall during the mayoral elections. People were denied access to vote, votes were not counted, and many...

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Jun 16, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Nick Cain, KF7 Paraguay

In Cochabamba, Bolivia, milk is quite literally the ticket to financial services and economic growth.  Kiva lenders, meet CIDRE, your newest Field Partner in Bolivia.  Last week I traveled from Asunción, Paraguay to Cochabamba, Bolivia to train CIDRE’s staff members on the Kiva platform, help them learn a little about the Kiva community, and make sure they had everything they needed in order to start connecting their borrowers to Kiva lenders....

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Jun 15, 2009 PH Philippines

My First Center Meeting with Antique Southwest Group

By Sloane Berrent, KF8, Philippines

Just five days into my Kiva Fellowship, one thing I already know, this is truly an amazing experience, no two ways about it. I am learning things, going places, meeting people that never in a million years would a normal traveler experience.

It’s also quite frankly, hard. This isn’t like jaunting in my solo travels around the world, being carefree and on my own...

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Jun 13, 2009 PE Peru

¡La selva no se vende, la selva se defiende!

“The forest is not for sale, The forest we defend!” shouted the community of Ayacucho while pumping their fists in the air.  Sweat dripped down their foreheads in the midday sun and not a soul was dressed for a day at the office.   The spirit of the crowd was overwhelming, as if every person had their heart invested in the political crisis unfolding in Peru, no matter its geographic distance from here.

Hours after my arrival in Ayacucho on Tuesday, while I was still entranced by the cultural beauty of the place and...

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Jun 12, 2009 KH Cambodia

This Wednesday marked a watershed moment for Kiva.org: borrowers from the U.S. made a well-publicized debut on the person-to-person microlending website. It left no doubt that microcredit, seen by many as the province of the poor, had arrived to serve Americans in need.

The floodgates are open, and they sluice both ways.

Kiva’s launch of lending in the U.S. has impassioned many, including a group of people in Cambodia near and dear to me — the staff of Maxima Mikroheranvatho, a Kiva partner microfinance institution where I was a Kiva Fellow from October 2008 to...

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Jun 12, 2009 PH Philippines

Four weeks ago I left my first placement in Cambodia and came to the Philippines where I started my second assignment with Kiva Field Partner ASKI. With each day at ASKI I have been more and more impressed by the dedication of the staff and the amazing programs that they are running.

Last week I started working on a blog post where I plan to conduct video interviews with staff that work on what ASKI calls, their “Beyond Microfinance” programs. These programs include; health insurance, life insurance, community development, housing loans for government built low income housing units...

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