Jun 5, 2009 TZ Tanzania

After reading my post about BRAC Tanzania a few days ago, I imagine that many of you are just chomping at the bit to get more involved with the organization.

Oh you absolutely are, you say?

Well, you’re in luck. There is a BRAC Tanzania Lending Team on Kiva.org that you can join and be surrounded by fellow BRAC Tanzania enthusiasts! We only have 8 members right now, so you should really go to the site, join the lending team and help our BRAC Tanzania Lending Team grow to be as massive as BRAC itself!

Thanks to those 8 people who have joined and together already...

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Jun 4, 2009 NP Nepal

Walking down Ring Road on Monday (the main road that encompasses the cities of Kathmandu and Patan) it felt as though there had been a mass evacuation and I was the only one who didn’t receive the memo. On a road that is usually so congested with traffic that I allow myself five minutes extra travel time in order to cross it, there was not a single vehicle to be seen and ndhonly a scattering of people here and there. The fruit sellers that usually ‘Namaste’ me on my walk into town had vanished and the usual strip of corner shops selling everything from lentils to coca cola had pulled down...

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Jun 4, 2009 KE Kenya

Kiva is a crowdsourcer.

Crowds of lenders are the source of funds for Kiva borrowers. A very recent milestone quietly appeared on the Kiva statistics page — over half a million lenders have funded borrower loans on the Kiva website. That’s one big crowd!

There’s also a crowd of volunteers and avid Kiva boosters: hundreds of volunteer editors and translators, dozens of Kiva Fellows in the field, umpteen heroic souls who volunteer at Kiva headquarters in San Francisco, and the nearly five-thousand-strong group of Kiva Friends, the best compadres ever.

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Jun 3, 2009 DO Dominican Republic

By Ashley Nelsen KF7/8 DR and Nicaragua

If Kiva had green microloans would you support one?  I am different from the “traditional” Kiva Fellow in the sense that I am spending my last semester of graduate school working full time as a fellow while researching the possibility of using microfinance to fund green or environmental microloans for my thesis.  Ideally, green microloans would work to improve income generation, health, and environmental conditions of the world’s poor.

The world’s poor interact on a daily basis with their natural surroundings, and depend on the natural...

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Jun 3, 2009 ID Indonesia

By Zev Lowe, KF8 Indonesia

Watch as Jemy, the Kiva Coordinator at my host MFI, Dinari Foundation Bali, takes me on a nail-biting, jaw-dropping white knuckled ride home. This video is just one minute long, but the actual journey took half an hour.

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Zev Lowe started work at DINARI Foundation today. He recently completed his MBA at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. Zev loves finance, technology, Aikido and...

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Jun 2, 2009 TZ Tanzania

The concept of risk has been discussed by many, and often, over the past year, as citizens around the world voice their concerns about the global recession. Mortgage risk, loan risk, credit risk, bailout risk, risk assessment, risk of spending too much, risk of spending too little, and on and on. A lot of risky business (and not the underwear dance kind) has been going on and we are paying for it now in all too literal a way.

There is another kind of risk though; one that I think some of you may be familiar with. That’s right, it’s Risk, as in epic board game, world...

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Jun 2, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8 Ghana, Africa

“Akwaaba!”  (Welcome!), I heard, over and over in my first few days here in Ghana, and what a wonderful welcome it has been!  When I stepped outside the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, my heart lept at the feel of the warm and humid summer night clinging to my skin and the cacophony of voices in Twi, which is the most commonly spoken language here in Ghana.  It sounded to me like a kind of chaotic harmony, blending perfectly with snatches of disparate Ghanaian music coming from various vehicles as I left the airport for my hotel.  Every face...

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Jun 1, 2009 ID Indonesia

By Zev Lowe, KF 8 Indonesia

The US dollar has recently risen significantly against many currencies. When I arrived in Bali to begin my Kiva Fellowship with DINARI Foundation, I received 10,295 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) for each of my US dollars. This is 10% higher than a year ago, when the US dollar was worth 9,350 IDR.

How does this fluctuation in exchange rates affect Kiva lenders, partners, and borrowers? Does this mean that an Indonesian farmer or food vendor is left having to bear the burden of the strengthening dollar?

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May 29, 2009 PE Peru

What is your dream for your future?  As a Kiva Fellow living in Puno, Peru, writing journals for Kiva and Manuela Ramos entrepreneurs, this is a question I have asked approximately 150 women.  Over the last three and a half months, one of my main responsibilities as a fellow has been to meet the entrepreneurs of Manuela Ramos who have been funded through Kiva and to write journals about their lives, their businesses and the loans that help them succeed in these businesses.  In order to gather the information needed to write these journals, I travel to bank meetings or to the entrepreneur’s...

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May 29, 2009 KE Kenya

By Brett Dobbs, KF7 Kenya

While an estimated half of Kenyans with AIDS are receiving anti-retroviral treatment, only about a third of Kenyan children are. In a Feb. 5th 2009 report issued by Human Rights Watch, the authors listed two primary reasons for the gap in care. The first, familiar to those in micro finance, is the lack of access to major health centers. Like banks, the best hospitals are located in major urban centers and cater to the slim minority that can afford steep hospital bills.

Second, many caregivers do not take their children for testing because of “stigma...

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