Stories tagged with Kenya

Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
Village view from a matatu

As I approach the matatu stage I feel a bout of irritation.  Completely empty.  I am the first passenger to arrive, which undoubtedly means waiting for an indefinite amount of time until it is full and ready to head out.  I quickly text the Kiva borrower I am to visit to tell her I may be late.  Having been in this situation many times before, she messages me back with an understanding, “Don’t worry, you still come!”  I get in, pick the best seat, buy a few... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya

On a recent trip out of Nairobi, we arrived in Eldama Ravine, a small town of around 15,000 people in Kenya's Rift Valley Province.  On our arrival we were greeted by Benson, the local loan officer for SMEP Microfinance Bank, who proudly walked us down Eldama Ravine's main street, into a building containing a general store and an education center, and up two flights of stairs to a small office overlooking the busy local... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 GO Global Update

Traditionally Kenyan women have not been in the business of beekeeping. Beehives were historically kept very high in trees requiring the beekeeper to undertake a somewhat dangerous climb in order to service or retrieve the hive. Culturally, this was not considered an activity fit for Kenyan women. Now, with modern beekeeping techniques and tools, colonized hives can be managed from the ground.

For the first half of my Kiva fellowship I was placed with Honey Care Africa, an organization that gives Kiva loans to farmers for beehives and apiary materials. I attended a Honey... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
Last week I travelled to Nakuru, a town to the northwest of Nairobi in Kenya's Rift Valley Province, about three hours away by matatu.  Matatus are the predominant mode of transport in Kenya and while they lack a few comforts - leg room, air conditioning, suspension, and any limit on the number of people that will attempt to fit inside one simultaneously - they have the benefits of being cheap, efficient and reliable, and handle Kenya's potholed roads reasonably well.  
Jackline and her clothing business in...
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Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya


After completing Kiva Fellows Training in San Francisco, and moving my last few possessions into storage in Chicago, it was time to make the 8000 mile journey to Nairobi and start my fellowship!  With the exception of some visa troubles at the airport in Chicago, the journey went relatively simply and smoothly; I passed the time pretty effectively with a combination of in-flight movies, coffee and snacks in... Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2014 KE Kenya

Nowhere is the spirit of Entrepreneurship more rampant than in Gikomba market. Gikomba is the largest second-hand clothes market in East Africa. This open-air market located near the Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi is home to hundreds of traders.  The traders are small retailers that sell second-hand clothing they purchase from larger distributers for a small profit.  This is a bustling market and on any day, you can hear retailers shouting over each other trying to attract customers to their stall.

Recently the market has been plagued with multiple disasters.... Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2014 KE Kenya
Our trustee Kelvin Wambugu from EcoZoom with their products
Over 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributed to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels. An estimated 25% of global CO2 emissions are generated by the rural poor – accounting for significantly more than all global transportation-related emissions combined. To address these problems, organizations such as EcoZoom, a Kiva Zip trustee in Kenya, bring clean-burning cookstoves (and other ecological products) to people in... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2014 KE Kenya

 

3 Must-Know Insights on Kenya, Football and the FIFA World Cup

 

Kenya is not one of the first 10 countries that come to mind when you think of a top class footbball team. It didn't qualify for this year's World Cup in Brazil. In fact, Kenya has never qualified to the FIFA World Cup. Rather, Kenya is well known for its world class rugby sevens squad and elite...

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Feb 2, 2014 KE Kenya

 
After a two-week roadtrip visiting Kiva borrowers throughout Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley and western Kenya's rolling tea hills, it's hard to pick one story or moment that stands out the most. But without a doubt one of the highlights was Penina (pictured below) and her bubbly personality, contagious laughter and resilient character. Her Kiva loan helped her not only increase her sales but hire 1 full time employee and 2 seasonal workers. The journey for Penina and her community hasn't always been easy, but they have persevered....
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Dec 12, 2013 GO Global Update, KE Kenya
"Loans That Change Lives" & "Farmers First!"

Wrapping up my fellowship in Kenya has prompted me to reflect on what I’m finding most valuable about my time here.  Many experiences come to mind but the top two are: (1) being able to meet Kiva borrowers in the field and (2) being able to work closely with Kiva partners on the ground. 
 
We spend a lot of time here focusing on Kiva borrowers and Kiva lenders.  We highlight Kiva...
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