Apr 17, 2014 GO Global Update

Paynesville south - suburb of Monrovia, Liberia
I have just realized that my definition of poverty has evolved over the past 6 months as I have gotten to know my host countries and have met with various people in different communities. Poverty is not always the lack of resources to enjoy a minimum standard of life and well-being, provided that how one assesses that is anything but straightforward. Sometimes, it’s also the unwillingness to take advantages of opportunities that could improve one’s life conditions because... Continue Reading >>


Apr 17, 2014 SL Sierra Leone

Edith, a Kiva borrower, has a small wooden hair studio in Torkpoi town.
There are things we do to survive. We find work, shelter, food and pay our bills. Then there are the things we do to live. To live, we feed ourselves with the arts, conversation, beauty, sports, entertainment and nature. What a people do to live says a huge amount about them. These pursuits do not seem to cease in times of hardship; if anything they are bullishly defended. In 1994, the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra performed in the ruins... Continue Reading >>


Apr 16, 2014 SL Sierra Leone

Tejan, proudly outside his new shop
As a young man, Tejan had long dreamed of being a professional soccer player. For fifteen years, he played with one of Sierra Leone’s top teams, the first division Regent’s Olympic.  But even as a star defender and captain of his team, his earnings, essentially a portion of what was taken at the entrance gate, were seldom enough to make ends meet. In 2002, deciding to supplement his income, Tejan apprenticed with a local tailor, learning the highly skilled art of making... Continue Reading >>


Apr 15, 2014 GO Global Update, US United States

 
Photo Credit: Rudy Espinoza
 
1.  His Business: Re-Designing Store to Increase Access to Healthy Food  Nelson’s store is the snack mecca for his neighborhood including dozens of junior and senior high school students who swarm the store every afternoon. Previously, on any given afternoon, you would see kids line up out the door to purchase excessively sugary, salty and processed snacks that made up most of Nelson's store inventory... Continue Reading >>


Apr 14, 2014 GO Global Update

Freetown’s narrow, dusty and often unpaved streets seem to squeeze life through them at an intensity that is difficult to imagine in a ‘western city’. Rivers of people and goods spill over from makeshift sidewalks into oncoming cars and motorcycle taxis that weave in and out of each other amid an endless din of beeping horns. Hawkers hiss and suck their teeth to get your attention. Loudspeakers on an endless loop announce, “Voucher, Voucher, Top-up, Top-up, Afri-cell,  Airtel, Top-up, Top-up." A man calls, “Passport photo, passport photo,” in your ear, his camera sitting idle and ready... Continue Reading >>


Apr 11, 2014 US United States

Elizabeth from The Happy Tomato displaying her sauce at Community Investment Collaborative's graduation ceremony in Charlottesville, VA.
It was my first week as a Kiva fellow. A few weeks earlier I left training in San Francisco and my laptop was filled with PDFs and powerpoints; I had all the facts of Kiva Zip down. In my mind, I knew that this was an innovative loan product; 0% interest loans crowdfunded by lenders around the world. Oh, and did I mention that the loan was 0% interest? That was the best part of a... Continue Reading >>


Apr 5, 2014 ZW Zimbabwe

I push the button and the black steel door slides across its tracks, revealing morning traffic and fallen rusty flowers from the nearby Flamboyant Tree.  Every morning it’s the same, as I start my 30-minute walk to the office.  For the next 2 kilometers, I wind...

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Apr 2, 2014 KE Kenya

Sidi and I at her produce stall in Malindi!
 
After visiting various Kiva borrowers throughout the lush tea and dense maize fields of western and central Kenya, I now get to work with Milango Financial Services out of the coastal city of Mombasa!  There is a lot to enjoy on the coast.   You do have to adjust to the heat, and be aware of the sometimes tense environment due to assassinations, violent protests and terrorist activity in the area. Thankfully, my...
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Mar 30, 2014 US United States

Chef Garrick

 

“Nobody believed in me. They told me I couldn’t do it,” said Garrick, owner of Mason Catering Services.

 

... Continue Reading >>


Mar 28, 2014 US United States

Evan Segal looks on as Tracy Carter speaks at the Kiva City Pittsburgh launch party.
“Pittsburgh is going to be a model for Kiva Zip.” Evan Segal, a Pittsburgh business leader and Kiva Zip proponent, began the Kiva City Pittsburgh launch with a bold prediction. Last week, Pittsburgh became the 8th Kiva City, launching at Marty’s Market in Pittsburgh’s Strip District with over 160 attendees. The huge turnout demonstrated the potential in Segal’s promise, and Pittsburgh’s supportive, community-minded nature.   “... Continue Reading >>


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