May 22, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

‘'It’s amazing to see the other volunteers dedicating themselves to Kiva. I am truly in awe of them and how much they know. I can always draw on them through the forum when I have a question and within seconds people respond!" City: Minneapolis, United States Languages: Spanish Team: Saliendo Adelante Time with Kiva: 3 years and 5 months Outstanding contributions to Kiva: Pam McMurry, a dedicated Spanish translator, is coming up on 3.5 years reviewing loan... Continue Reading >>

May 16, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

This past week we've seen so many great videos that really resonated with us. So we would like to leave you with some inspirational weekend watching material! Video is an utterly unique medium, with so much potential. We're looking forward to bringing you more stories of Kiva borrowers on video, especially as the next class of Kiva Fellows prepares to head out into the field after training this week. In the meantime though, here are some staff favorites.  1. Taken from a commencement address by David Foster Wallace, "This is Water"... Continue Reading >>

May 15, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

This is a guest post by Emily Stone, the managing director at Kiva partner Maya Mountain Cacao in Belize. MMC supports cacao growers in the country to improve their livelihoods and get their high-quality product to market. Chocolate. Dark brown, delicious, sweet, creamy, cocoa-loaded delights. Brownies, cookies, mousse, tarts, cakes, ganache. Candy bars, truffles, and bonbons. This is the chocolate that we all know and love. Given as gifts between couples, used to celebrate special events, and craved by the masses sitting at school desks and work desks around the... Continue Reading >>

May 14, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Tragedy struck Rwanda almost 20 years ago when hundreds of thousands of citizens were killed in a matter of months in a horrific genocide. While great strides have been made, the economy has never been the same since. Over 40% of the population still lives below the poverty line. We are proud that Kiva’s presence in Rwanda can help the nation regrow by providing opportunity to small businesses and entrepreneurs. To date, Kiva lenders have made over 7,500 loans (over 60% of them to women) in Rwanda via five local microfinance partners.  Nuru Energy is one partner... Continue Reading >>

May 11, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

This is a guest post by Kiva Fellow Esther Honig, who spent the last four months working with Kiva partner Fondo Esperanza in Chile. In Santiago, Chile, a recent census showed that 50% of households living below the poverty line are run by single mothers. The reason why has a lot to do with gender inequality in Chilean society. Of 93 countries surveyed around the world, Chile ranks 60th on the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). While the country is considered to be fairly developed, many women still struggle to gain economic independence. The majority of single Chilean mothers... Continue Reading >>

May 9, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

This is a guest post from Allie Hill, the Kiva Coordinator who works at field partner HOPE Congo.  The author (right) with a HOPE Congo client Edith. It was my first month living in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. I had a mixture of emotions adjusting to a new culture, climate, and language, yet I was excited about my work with HOPE Congo’s clients. During my orientation, I visited several borrowers’ meetings, including Edith’s group Shaloom 2. I could barely communicate in French, but Edith and the other members of the group graciously welcomed me... Continue Reading >>

May 9, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

For Mother's Day, we wanted to hear from some of our partners in the field about how motherhood, or helping mothers, has changed their perspective or inspired them to do more. We were excited to speak to Yuthida Sophat, treasury officer for VisionFund Cambodia, who is also a young mother. KIVA: How does VisionFund Cambodia work to serve and support mothers? YUTHIDA: VisionFund (Cambodia), a social-oriented MFI, has a precise mission to empower poor women and their families with small loans and other financial services. To support this... Continue Reading >>

May 8, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Save the Children has published its 14th annual State of the World’s Mothers report -- defining the best and worst places in the world to be a mother. In this year’s report, 176 countries were ranked based on the well-being of mothers and children. Their health, educational, economic, and political status were all taken into consideration.
Kiva works with partners in Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Mali, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...
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May 8, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

No larger than the state of Maryland, Rwanda is a small landlocked nation in the heart of Africa. Full of lakes and very mountainous, it is a beautiful country with just over 12 million inhabitants. Today, some consider it Africa’s “biggest success story,” but just 19 short years ago the nation was haunted by one of the most horrific genocides in history. 1994 GENOCIDE Unfortunately, when one thinks of Rwanda perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is its tragic history of genocide. Prompted by decades of competition between the two major ethnic... Continue Reading >>

May 7, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Without the hard work and dedication of countless individuals, Kiva could never have touched the lives of over 1 million borrowers. Kiva Coordinators are critical to making this possible. KCs work with loan officers in the field to gather photos and stories of borrowers to post on the Kiva site -- connecting them to our community of lenders ready to help. KCs ensure that borrowers are well-represented on Kiva and are getting the funding and services they need to thrive. So we would like to take this opportunity to highlight the work of three rockstar KCs who fuel Kiva's mission. ... Continue Reading >>