Training microfinance institution (MFI) staff on Kiva never gets old no matter how many times I do it. The excitement lies in the great unknown of which questions they will ask once I’ve said my piece. Across the board, the staff I meet are professional and dedicated to their work. Most have been serving hundreds of clients for years before I dropped in to introduce Kiva, so it is not surprising that they are both slightly perplexed by this new element and also extremely invested in understanding it completely. Their questions illuminate for me how confusing Kiva is upon first (or...Continue Reading >>
My first and only post was back in September 2008 – I had just finished training for the Kiva Fellowship, although I wasn’t leaving until January and still did not know where I was going. I got word in November that I was heading to Bali, Indonesia! Since my departure dates were a little off cycle from the rest of the KF7 class, this is my first official post as a Kiva Fellow.
Since I arrived in Bali to begin my Fellowship with the DINARI Foundation, I have not stopped sweating. I expected the heat; I expected the humidity. But the...Continue Reading >>
When I set out to research Tajikistan a few months ago, I figured that it would be challenging but didn’t realize exactly how difficult it would be to find accurate, up-to-date information on this small, land-locked country in Central Asia.
Aside from a single chapter in a Central Asia guidebook by Lonely Planet and a few websites, there is relatively little information available for those interested in traveling to...Continue Reading >>
Greetings from Zacatecas, capital city of the state of Zacatecas, Mexico!
I have spent the better part of the week camped out in this fine colonial city to continue to bring ADMIC journal updates to Kiva lenders. Yesterday, I met Maria de la Luz and learned about her family’s potato chip making business.
This should have been a fantastic journal update for some Kiva lender but sometimes the great work of a microfinance institution (mfi) like Mexico’s ADMIC is not funded by Kiva dollars. As I am sure has happened to other fellows, the microfinance partner staff...Continue Reading >>
After approximately a year of waiting I finally made it to my destination: the micro finance institute (MFI) Esperanza/Hope International located in balmy, beautiful Santo Domingo! Kalie Gold (another Kiva Fellow) and Analin (Kiva Coordinator) have been gracious enough to show me the ropes, and there is plenty to do. Right now we are currently working on designing a short training course for getting better profile pictures, more journal updates, getting documents sent on a timely manner, etc.
I was really excited to learn that Esperanza/Hope International are getting ready to launch...Continue Reading >>
Back at Kiva HQ, KF7 has made it to the the forth of five days of training. Tonight we are having the first “New Lender Challenge”. Teams have been divided up from Kiva staff and KF7 and the team with the most successful invites by tomorrow wins a huge prize. Please encourage your friends/family/contacts to register on Kiva tonight!
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Like the windshield on a motor-taxi in Phnom Penh rush hour, transparency is vital to Kiva’s survival. To give interest-free loans, lenders deserve to know that every cent of their money is being distributed exactly as promised, whilst borrowers have the right not to be misrepresented.
An important aspect of this transparency, and one which Kiva takes very seriously, is the integrity of the data on its website. Allowing inaccurate data is the first step towards encouraging fraud on the site, which would have severe reputational consequences for Kiva.
A key data check is...Continue Reading >>
My name is Boris Mordkovich and I’m one of the 28 Kiva Fellows [in training] in the KF7 class. In just a few short days, I’ll be finishing up the training, getting my last-minute supplies and headed to the cold, cold winter climate of Tajikistan.
As we come to a close of our 3rd day of...Continue Reading >>
I am volunteering at Kisumu Medical Educational Trust (KMET), which began with the aim of breaking the silence surrounding high maternal mortality from unsafe abortions. In the Nyanza Province of Kenya, 42% of 15-19 year olds are sexually active, but only 11% use modern contraception. (Mitchel et al, 2006). Only eleven percent of sexually active teenagers use condoms, despite the fact that 15% of the population is infected with HIV/AIDS.
The KMET office has boxes and boxes of free condoms. I browsed the selection, impressed. I felt as though I was browsing the coffee...Continue Reading >>
Dedokpo Moise, the loan officer at Alide- Dedokpo, and I drove into the neighborhood of Aglas Hlazountas. In the mid-afternoon, the local market was pretty quiet, but we needed to scarf up some Kiva clients to interview, so Moise alerted the leader of the group, the woman selling charcoal. Evidently the word spread fast, because soon the Kiva women were upon us, joined by their entire group. Moise explained that the entire group consisted of 50 women who all shared the collatéral of the loan. Only a few of the 50 women were Kiva. They came ready to see us with baskets of...Continue Reading >>