May 22, 2009

The members of the seventh Kiva Fellows class (KF7) recently received some rather startling news:  Kiva is sending out reinforcements.  The team in San Francisco rounded up a new bunch of smart, capable, passionate people (creatively referred to as KF8) to fan out across the globe where they will meet Kiva borrowers, write journal updates, post enriching and exciting material to this blog, raise awareness about the work of their respective host institutions, and take cold showers for two to four months.

Upon hearing the news, Brett Dobbs (KF7, Kenya) and I were overwhelmed with all...

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May 22, 2009 KH Cambodia

Over the last three months, four Kiva Fellows (Katie, Julie, Jeff and Drew) have been working and living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We are so lucky to have spent this time together in such a wonderful place. Alas, our time has come to an end but we have put together a video to share both our time at our individual MFI’s and our time together outside of work.

It is unusual for multiple Kiva Fellows to be located in the...

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May 21, 2009 PE Peru

Some of you may be aware of the definition of the Community, or Village, Bank and the role it plays in many Microfinance Institutions (MFIs).  For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, I’d like to offer a brief history of the Community Bank and it’s function in Manuela Ramos, an MFI and women’s movement in Peru.  Although community banks operate differently in distinct countries and MFIs, the origin of the community bank and it’s general functions are usually the same regardless of the place of operation.

The idea of the Community Bank originated with the development...

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May 21, 2009

Arguably the best things about GHAPE is the execution of their social mission. They take a lot of pride in fostering a sense of community that not only educates their borrowers on topics such as loan management and hygiene, but also allows their members to feel apart of a group that shares in their triumphs and losses. GHAPE organizes centers so that borrowers feel comfortable speaking in their center, and at the same time, there is a professionalism during the meetings. Visiting now 12 of the 28 centers, the slight differences in each center shows that GHAPE gives centers the autonomy to...

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May 20, 2009 BA Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Velizara Passajova, KF8 Bosnia, Armenia

Hello, my name is Velizara and I am from Sofia, Bulgaria. I am currently enjoying KIVA Fellows Training in San Francisco. After I finish my junior spring at Dartmouth College, I will head to Sarajevo, Bosnia to work with “Zene za Zene International” from June-July 2009. In August-September 2009, I will be in Yerevan, Armenia. My job is to help establish KIVA and open up additional oportunities for lending to entrepreneurs in Eastern Europe.

KIVA is so exciting! Please, join our cause!

To see my blog,...

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May 20, 2009 RW Rwanda

By Laura Buhler, KF8 Rwanda

Hello Kiva Friends!

I am Laura Buhler and I am a Kiva Fellow 8 trainee at Kiva headquarters in San Francisco. I will be heading to Kigali, Rwanda for about three months this summer. In celebration of this placement, I have loaned $25 to Joselyne, an entrepreneur in Kigali.

If you are interested in learning more about Kiva, Kiva Fellows, or microfinance in general, please stay posted with the Kiva Fellows Blog.

I encourage all of my readers to make a loan to an entrepreneur in Rwanda or around the world.

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May 19, 2009 VN Vietnam

Microfinance, while not the cure-all tool for development, is a very powerful tool for poverty reduction in the developing world. We’ve all heard the effect it has on poverty as portrayed in numerous academic studies and from sources like Muhammad Yunus. Because of my infatuation with microfinance I started wondering what other impact microfinance has had on development issues such as inequality. After a quick search on UC Berkeley’s academic journal search tool I only found one (one?!!) article which even mentioned inequality. This was evidence to me that microfinance is still in its...

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May 18, 2009 KH Cambodia

CREDIT Microfinance Institution, Kiva’s oldest partner in Southeast Asia, and 7th oldest in its portfolio of partners celebrated its third year on Kiva May 3rd, 2009. As one of Kiva’s oldest partners, they have received over $3.1m in loans, making it the most invested MFI in Kiva’s portfolio of MFIs. Through the generosity of over 48,500 Kiva lenders, over 4150 of CREDIT’s clients have received loans ranging from $100 to $1200 helping them run businesses, fix homes, educate their children, supply daily needs, and ultimately enabling them to build a higher standard of living for themselves...

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May 17, 2009 PE Peru

As a Kiva Fellow, one of my main duties is to bring you stories about entrepreneurs using microcredit to improve their lives. A few weeks ago, I met a remarkable entrepreneur called Neni. Neni is almost 28, she is married and has a 7 year-old daughter. When I arrived at her home, she kindly invited me to sit in her tiny kitchen and treated me to fried plantains and a portion of jell-o.

Neni started selling food when she was 20 years-old, after finding out she was pregnant. One day, she heard about Manuela Ramos/CrediMujer and she thought she could benefit from the small loans...

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May 15, 2009 NI Nicaragua

by Ashley Nelsen

Do you think you could you start a thriving general store from a single 25 pound sack of sugar?  Gloria María Ramírez Herrera did and recently told me how. Unwilling to sign her house as collateral for a traditional bank loan, she knew she would have to start her business on her own, and start small. Gloria saved up little by little and purchased a single 25 pound sack of sugar and began selling it out of the front window of her house. That’s where the MFI Asociación Alternativa Para el Desarrollo Integral de las Mujeres (ADIM) stepped in to assist. Gloria used her...

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