Compiled by Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Ukraine
As regular readers of Kiva Stories from the Field  will know, it’s not always easy to extend microfinance services to the people who need them most. Aside from the usual barriers - poor infrastructure that makes it difficult to connect borrowers with an MFI, the difficulty of disseminating information about available services, and the danger of over-indebtedness among those in greatest need - there are sometimes even more intractable political and regulatory challenges that make it very difficult for microfinance to be viable. This week, our fellows have investigated a few of these problems. Read on to learn about the unique challenges that come with owning a farm in the West Bank and the barriers that Turkish microfinance institutions face in trying to expand their services; then, get another window into the Kiva borrower verification process and learn how Kiva Fellows forge connections with the entrepreneurs they visit.
Borrower Visits: Uncle Alex’s Tips from the Field 
Alex Connelly | KF17 | Colombia
In this helpful post, Alex draws on the experience he’s gained visiting 25 Kiva borrowers throughout Colombia to teach future Kiva Fellows how to make the most of their visits.
The ABCs of West Bank Agriculture 
Philip Issa | KF17 | Palestine
In an attempt to find out why agricultural loans are so rare at his Palestinian field partners – despite a climate that can easily support small farms – Philip digs deep into the West Bank’s political and economic realities to explore why the agricultural sector there is fraught with risk.
Barrier + Solution = Group Loans for Maya! + Challenges Remain. 
Kim Strathearn | KF16 & KF17 | Turkey
Kim introduces her field partner’s first group loans and explains why they had been unable to post any before now, using this as a jumping-off point to investigate the informational and regulatory barriers that the microfinance industry in Turkey is trying to overcome.
Updates from the past month:
Non-Financial Services, Employment Discrimination + The Dark Side of Sustainable Tourism 
Tropical Business Trips, Less Exhilarating Fellow Roles + Education Inspiration 
Finding Epiphanies, Sharing Wisdom + Standing Up to Sassy Nigerian Mamas 
A New Perspective from Mexico, Second Chances for Borrowers + A Microfinance Medical Mission 
Plus more pictures from the past week: