Jun 20, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Susan Arthur, KF8 Nicaragua

Dear readers,

I am a Kiva Fellow in Managua, Nicaragua, working with field partner CEPRODEL.  I’ve been here for a couple of weeks now, and am thrilled to announce Kiva’s first novela: “As the Microfinance Mundo (World) Turns.”

Novelas are soap operas which are very popular in Latin America and on Spanish-language television in the U.S. On this blog, I will unveil the story of Doña Cony as she seeks credit so she can open a “comedor” or small restaurant on the front porch of her house.

Located in Batahola Norte, a poor neighborhood...

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Jun 20, 2009 KE Kenya

By John Briggs, KF8 Kenya

Update on sentiment shift: On June 23, Tom, the team captain for the (formerly) Pissed Off Kiva Lenders, changed the team name to Unhappy Kiva Lenders. Tom explained the name change in a posting on the team page: “I want the day to come soon when the team name will be ‘Delighted Again Kiva Lenders’ but the step above in the name change reflects current progress.”

Some Kiva lenders are pissed off about Kiva’s recent launch of loans to borrowers in the United States. Their angry cry has been heard in Kenya...

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Jun 19, 2009 PE Peru

By Courtney Kemps, KF8 Peru

Earlier this week I accompanied Maribel, director of Manuela Ramos’s Pucallpa office, and Liz, one of the loan officers, to an informational meeting for a new group of borrowers that turned out to be more of an adventure than any of us had expected.  We rose early Monday morning to take a long wooden boat from Pucallpa’s port up the Ucayali River to a tiny town called Nuevo Paraiso (New Paradise).  It was Manuela Ramos’s first visit to New Paradise, a town populated by indigenous Shipibo-speaking people who had heard about the possibility of...

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Jun 19, 2009 CR Costa Rica

As I described in a previous blog post, EDESA (Kiva’s field partner in Costa Rica) works with a network of Community Credit Enterprises (ECCs by their Spanish acronym).  To reiterate a bit, the ECCs are small, grassroots microfinance organizations formed by rural community members.  FINCA Costa Rica provides extensive training in these communities to teach members how to work together to create and run a profitable business that provides financial services among other things.  I recently visited one of the oldest and largest ECCs, La Asociación de Productores de El Sauce (The Association...

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Jun 19, 2009 WS Samoa

Athan Makansi – KF8 – Apia, Samoa

Jump on the Samoan time machine and watch as a few neighbors help prepare a delicious meal of taro, breadfruit, coconut cream, potatoes, chicken and tuna in a giant fire pit as Samoans have for many, many years.  But no, Samoans don’t make s’mores.

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Talofa (Hello), from Samoa.  I arrived last Friday in the glorious sunshine of Samoa, eager to start my fellowship with SPBD, Kiva’s partner in Apia, the...

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Jun 18, 2009 PH Philippines

By Sloane Berrent, KF8, Philippines

As a Kiva Fellow, drinking the Kiva kool-aid and eating, living, breathing Kiva day-in and day-out, my browser is full of tabs following Kiva online. I wanted to share those ways to connect with you. So you too, can friend, follow, subscribe and join away!

Blogs:

  • Kiva Fellows – a great place to read all about the stories, experiences and reflections of the approximately 40 Kiva Fellows that are currently in the field.
  • Kiva Blog – To read about happenings from Kiva HQ including new country...
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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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