Nov 22, 2013 SV El Salvador

Buenos dias a todos mis amigos. For the past two weeks I've been working with a tremendous new field partner in San Salvador, El Salvador called CONFRAS. CONFRAS (Confederation of Federations for Agrarian Reform in El Salvador in English) was founded in the 1980's during the El Salvadorean Civil War to further land reform efforts. Since then, it has grown to represent 100+ cooperatives that provide various services to over 4,000 farmers throughtout El Salvador. One cooperative with whom I've been working directly is ACAF. ACAF provides not only microcredit, but technical assistance and... Continue Reading >>


Nov 19, 2013 KE Kenya

 
KADET, Naivasha Branch: Me, Fridah, Pauline, Mildred, Stellah, Mike, Rose, Alice
I know Thanksgiving is a proper American holiday. Yet, Americans are certainly not the only people who have much to be thankful for.  Like Christina Magro (a fellow Kiva Fellow in Nicaragua)  eloquently highlighted, microfinance officers play a vital role in the Kiva process but their efforts can go undetected by the Kiva community. While setting up a ... Continue Reading >>


Nov 19, 2013 KE Kenya

According to UN Habitat, of the four million people who live in Nairobi, over 60% live in slums, 78% of which do not have running water in their homes. Many struggle to pay their rent of $10-35 per month and rarely have enough food to eat. Their children are very lucky if they are consistently able to attend school. For those in better conditions, this reality becomes all the more confronting when these people are your friends and relatives. 

So, when Davis Mkoji got a call in early 2012 inviting him to test out the newly-created Kiva Zip program, he...

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Nov 18, 2013 PH Philippines

 Please note:  the following blog post was scheduled prior to Typhoon Haiyan. For the latest updates on our borrowers, Field Partners, field staff and Kiva Fellows in the region, please see our blog post here.  
Before our last day of filming in Manila, we had dinner with Michelle and Edwin at a local restaurant. The highlight of our night was when a small musical group, made of blind musicians, came to our table to sing (you pay a small amount). Edwin broke out his musical talent by playing the drums with his...
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Nov 17, 2013 GT Guatemala

Buenos dias a todos mis amigos. If you are like I was 75 days ago, you know very little about Guatemala. I'm not afraid to admit that I knew very little before my Fellowship - which both excited and horrified me. When I first learned that I was going to Guatemala I thought cool..wait...WHHHAAAATT?!!? Isn't that really, really dangerous. The short answer to this question is well...there is no short answer. Like many countries in Latin America, Guatemala does have very real problems problems with violence (mostly gang related), drug trafficking and poverty (approximatly 75% live... Continue Reading >>


Nov 16, 2013 EC Ecuador

Many of the Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) that Kiva partners with include poverty alleviation in their mission statements. To fulfill this mission, many MFIs realize that administering micro-loans needs to be combined with other supplemental support activities to be able to sustainably bring people out of poverty. Some services that MFIs offer can range from financial management courses, community development projects, business planning for new entrepreneurs, health insurance packages for entire families, just to name a few. They understand that the roots of poverty are much more than... Continue Reading >>


Nov 16, 2013 KE Kenya

How is Kiva Zip, a direct lending program based on the internet and mobile money transfers, working without the aid of micro-finance institutions on the ground? It begins with and is upheld by one important group of individuals: local community members we train to be trustees

As we near our two year anniversary and celebrate our climbing repayment rate, now at 92%, we would like to honor our top-performing partners through a series of Trustee Spotlight blogs. While much of the focus goes to borrowers, understandably as they are our target population, we’d... Continue Reading >>


Nov 14, 2013 PH Philippines

 Please note:  the following blog post was scheduled prior to Typhoon Haiyan. For the latest updates on our borrowers, Field Partners, field staff and Kiva Fellows in the region, please see our blog post here.  
The next few days were filled with us going to several borrowers around the greater Manila area filming their interviews and their various businesses. Each individual had a unique story to tell and each...
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Nov 13, 2013 MX Mexico

There are very few things I look forward to in the morning.  Particularly here in Huatusco, Mexico I am not very fond of the ENORMOUS rooster next door that bellows 5am morning sermons to all the sinners (me) who dares to sleep in late.  I also don’t look forward to having to uncover myself from my soft, warm and protective blankets that shield me from the cold, bitter mornings.  However, the light at the end of the tunnel for me is knowing that my favorite meal of the day is breakfast, which is usually accompanied by a black cup of coffee.     After... Continue Reading >>


Nov 11, 2013 GO Global Update

 Please note:  the following blog post was scheduled prior to Typhoon Haiyan. For the latest updates on our borrowers, Field Partners, field staff and Kiva Fellows in the region, please see our blog post here.  
The next leg of this Filming for Kiva journey was in Manila, the capital of the Philippines - the largest of its cities. It was obvious that when we landed in Manila, that it was signficantly different from Bacolod. For one thing, there were street lights! (Only a few, but better than none) Still no lanes...
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