Jan 3, 2014 SN Senegal

First and foremost, happy New Year 2014! Wishing you all a wonderful and fulfilling year!! Quite a memorable New Year’s Eve in Dakar, watching impromptu fireworks from the top floor of my residence…   I’ve been meaning to post this dance video for quite some time now. November 2013 was the month I re-discovered Baaba Maal (I was at 2 of his concerts in Dakar!). His name may resonate with some. For world music fans, especially Senegalese traditional music and the sabar dance, Youssou N’Dour and Baaba Maal are certainly the most popular.   I learnt about the first concert,... Continue Reading >>


Jan 2, 2014 CO Colombia

 
Christmas away from home is bittersweet. As much as I enjoy experiencing new holiday traditions in a foreign country (I was pleased to note that Colombia has many more Christmas lights and fewer jingles), I found myself missing home for the first time as a Kiva Fellow. So, naturally, my immediate reaction was to travel. Big festival in the “Salsa Capital of the World”? Yes, please. And so on Christmas Eve, I hopped on an 11-hour bus ride to Cali.  Cali is the third largest city in Colombia; it is located in the southwestern region of the country... Continue Reading >>


Dec 30, 2013 IN India

BJS is a brand new partner to Kiva, posting their first loan in October of this year, but they have been operating since 2006. BJS believes that providing loans to the underserved is critical, and leads to self-sufficiency, but supplementing with education, health/hygiene training and skill development ensures economic stability. As the organization grows, so do their social services, which they started offering a few years ago. They have arranged everything from eye exam camps and cancer screenings to financial literacy training and jute handicraft sessions for their clients. They even set... Continue Reading >>


Dec 28, 2013 US United States

On Tuesday, I attended the first ever Giving Tuesday 'Jamathon' organized by Full Circle Fund. Kiva was one of seven Bay Area non-profits selected for the competition, and our team consisted of my manager Justin Renfro, four members of Full Circle Fund who have been designated as 'rising leaders', and me. We met a couple of times earlier in the week to establish Kiva Zip's main 'pain-point', expanding our lender base. On the night of the Jamathon, we were joined by two additional...

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Dec 27, 2013 KG Kyrgyzstan

I was in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for just under two weeks, meeting students who have received 0% interest Kiva loans through Kiva partner AUCA. AUCA is one of the top Universities in Kyrgyzstan, and all the student's I've met are thrilled to be a part of this unique American-style University. AUCA attracts students from all over Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia and from all different backgrounds.   
 
I met Almaz, who is an AUCA student on a full scholarship, so he doesn't have a Kiva loan. Almaz offered to take me...
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Dec 24, 2013 GO Global Update, VN Vietnam

Dien Bien, the day before Christmas,
Enjoy the road trip to commune
  As I wrap up my fellowship in Vietnam, I guess the best part of being a Kiva fellow that I have experienced so many odd events. Such as, coincidentally celebrated 5-year partnership with Kiva and Fund for Poor Thanh Hoa Women or worked with "latrine experts" at East Meets West. It feels like I relearn everything I knew before, Vietnam under a different perspective. 4 months pass by fast enough to make me realize that I haven’t been able to help... Continue Reading >>


Dec 24, 2013 MX Mexico

R.E.M once sang about “Losing My Religion”.  I was told that when someone uses this expression, it means that they’re going “loco”.  Oftentimes, religions that are practiced can bring a sense of serenity to an individual that carnal desires cannot.  People sacrifice their bodies, their vices, and even their dreams for a spot in the afterlife.  Or, perhaps to save souls from being condemned to a fate unbeknownst to even the most pessimistic fatalists.   Here in Mexico, I can assure you that nobody is losing his or her religion, figuratively or literally.  The... Continue Reading >>


Dec 22, 2013 AM Armenia

The work of a Kiva Fellow is busy and varied, but we also like to take in the sights while we are abroad.  One week this fall, I was able to spend a week with not one, but two other Kiva-ites.  Kiva Fellows Program Coordinator Shana Soltani came to Armenia to observe Liz Fish, Kiva Media Fellow, and me.  We had a great week of meeting borrowers and talking with the field partners, and on the weekend, we decided to visit 2 very interesting historical places near Yerevan: Garni and Gerhard.
Garni temple with Shana,...
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Dec 16, 2013 ID Indonesia

Filming for Kiva, Indonesia TAKE FOUR
Filming on the road leading up to Paulos' home. Photo credit: Yungkit
Area by Paulos's home. Photo credit: Yungkit
The second student that really caught Kiva's attention was Paulos. Ron, a fellow Kiva ...err...Fellow who is also currently working in Southeast Asia had met Paulos about a month ago and recommended that we interview him. Paulos lives...
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Dec 11, 2013 KE Kenya

Moses Ojwang grew up in Kibera and experienced firsthand the need to develop leadership and catalyze change among the slum’s youth. In 2008, he made improving his community a full-time career by joining Carolina for Kibera (CFK), an NGO partnered with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Kiva Zip. CFK works to expand opportunity for all residents in Kibera, and more specifically, to help them become economically independent. 

The organization offers three comprehensive categories of service to the community: (1) a free to low-cost health...

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