Dec 1, 2007 UG Uganda

David Groves is a hero.  I will probably never meet him, but if I do, I will shake his hand and thank him for boarding an airplane in Australia bound for Kampala, Uganda in 1991, armed with nothing more than the name of the author of an article published in the Baptist Union General Society Newsletter about the terrible plight of Ugandan war orphans following years of civil strife.

Mr. Groves ultimately located that author, Pastor John Ekudu,...

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Nov 29, 2007 PE Peru

Hello!  Over the past month I have been experimenting with the video feature on my camera to add to the depth of the journals.  If you’re interested in watching any of these videos (be warned, the quality is not the best!), you can go to youtube.com and search for Kiva Peru.  I believe at the moment there are twelve of them, and I will be adding more in the next few weeks!  Each video has an accompanying journal on Kiva’s Journal page, or you can search by the entrepreneur’s name on the Lend page.  Enjoy!

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Nov 26, 2007 KE Kenya

I’ve been in Kenya for a couple of weeks now and have seen such diversity in not only the people, plants, and animals but also in standard of living, quality of life, and income levels. Like anywhere in the world some people live expensive, lavish lifestyles while others work hard with little to show for it at the end of the day. In Kenya, the latter is definitely the most prominent. But last week as a Kiva Fellow at Action Now: Kenya(ANK) in Nairobi, I saw the beauty and success of microfinance that I had hoped for but was skeptical about as I...

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Nov 26, 2007 UG Uganda

My name is Drew Kinder.  I am a Kiva Fellow from Buffalo, NY assigned to Share an Opportunity (SAO), a Micro-Finance Institution (MFI) headquartered in Kampala, Uganda.

Although my future postings will be about the borrowers I meet in Uganda, this first blog answers the question of how I ended up in Uganda volunteering for three months as a Kiva Fellow.

I discovered Kiva in March 2007 after reading a column in the New York Times written by Nicholas...

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Nov 26, 2007 TZ Tanzania

Greetings from Dana in Dar es Salaam, where I have been placed with Tujijenge Tanzania! In this past month, it’s been exciting to see the initial partnership form between Tujijenge Tanzania and Kiva, as they work together to provide loans to their clients. My officemates get so excited when they see all the different profiles on the Kiva website of people from all over the world who have become lenders to their clients. My translator/partner and I have now completed over 30 interviews of entrepreneurs, 26 of which have already been posted online and their loans completely raised. It’s...

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Nov 25, 2007 DO Dominican Republic

Since arriving in Santo Domingo last month, I’ve been immersed in an array of sights and sounds, faces and families, handshakes and hugs, cooking and cadence, and countless other alliterative elements of Dominican culture.  It’s been a whirlwind so far, and for about a three-minute moment everyday – the most time I ever seem to have to reflect – I can’t help but think that my familiar life in the states is being lived by some alternate version of me, and that eventually, he’ll bring me up to speed on the events of the last few months and I’ll tell him he missed...

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Nov 23, 2007 VN Vietnam

Working with Mekong Plus in Vietnam has allowed me to observe some of the many different ways one can help the poor. Aside of visiting Kiva borrowers, I also got a chance to observe other projects that Mekong Plus implements as part of its holistic approach towards attacking poverty.

Mekong Plus an extremely wide range of activities. One of the most successful and popular programs is its quilt shop, Vietnam Quilts. The project employs over a hundred poor women in the areas of Duc Linh and Long My. The women are taught to sew quilts and souvenirs that are then sent to Ho Chi Minh...

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Nov 23, 2007 MZ Mozambique

First, I want to apologize for not blogging earlier! I’ve had some problems with my account, but now that I’m able to write, I have absolutely no idea where to begin… It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here for about two months already and only have one more to go. To quickly introduce myself, my name is Charline Yim and I’m currently a Kiva Fellow in Mozambique, working for Kiva´s partner microfinance institution Fundo de Desenvolvimento da Muhler (FDM). I don’t know how exactly to explain what an incredible, crazy experience this has been, but I’ll try my best....

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Nov 18, 2007 PE Peru

Wow, what to say…

I’ve been in Peru now about a month and a half and have had a collection of experiences reflecting every aspect between the poles of ‘what am I doing here?!’ and ‘awe-inspiring beauty’… here are some thoughts I’ve gathered along the way…

Sitting in the idle combi, waiting for it to fill so we can get a move on to Lampa. Been here for about 15 minutes and so far no new passengers; I’m guessing we need at least 4 more until they’ll consider it worth the trip. The señora sits on the street corner, nursing her small child, calling out ‘A Lampa Lampa Lampa’,...

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Nov 18, 2007 VN Vietnam

Hi everyone.  I’m Felix, a Kiva fellow in Vietnam.  I am and have been working with Mekong Plus since late August.  I apologize for not blogging earlier.  My schedule was much different from what I expected, but I will be making up those blogs in the next few weeks with reflections on what has happened these past 3 months.

I guess for my first blog EVER, I’d like to share a story about why microlending has greater potential for success rather than donations.  After some 200 or some odd interviews, I had some questions and concerns about microlending.  Many of the borrowers I visited...

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