One of the highlights of the Kiva Fellowship is the opportunity to live somewhere far from home and learn about a new culture. I've met dozens of Kiva Zip trustees and borrowers during my three months in Kenya and unexpectedly forged a strong connection with one in particular. I first met Joseph* when he visited the Kiva office for a trustee interview. Joseph has an extensive background of community development and now continues his work as a pastor in Kenya, providing financial and educational services to his community. As a civic leader, he is a typical trustee that puts a great amount...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with Kenya
About One Acre Fund
One Acre Fund is a non-profit organization that supplies smallholder farmers with the tools and financing they need to grow their way out of hunger...
One of the best parts of the Kiva Fellowship is the anticipation while awaiting the location of your placement, which could be nearly anywhere Kiva loans are available. Wouldn’t it be great to stroll by the Taj Mahal on the way to work, gallop on horseback through the plains of Mongolia, or take in a sunset on a Samoan beach?
... Continue Reading >>
I have been in Kenya for almost 4 months now for my fellowship. Some of my time was spent in Nairobi, and some in western and rural parts of the country. Getting around by motorbike (“piki piki” or “boda boda”) is a way of life in Kenya. But I’ve never seen a female driver. Granted, it’s not an everyday occurrence in the western world either, but motorcycles in general are also not nearly so common.
Arriving in Kisumu, I thought I’d give it a try. After moving into my apartment I stepped outside to head for a grocery store. I saw a man with a kind face starting up his boda... Continue Reading >>
My first boda experience in Kenya occurred on a wet morning, in the pitch-black darkness that is the 5 o'clock hour, on uneven dirt roads winding through the rural farmland of Isibania, Kenya. I was wearing the broken helmet of a former Kiva Fellow who had been in a motorcycle accident in exactly these conditions.
The beauty of being a person afflicted with many fears is that is doesn’t take much to experience an adrenaline rush. In this situation, I might as well have been free climbing Mt. Kenya for the amount of dopamine... Continue Reading >>
In 2009, at the age of 15, Joyce and her family fled the war in Umoja, Democratic Republic of Congo in search of safe land. One day they heard on the radio that there was safety in Kenya. After two months of traveling, they arrived in Nairobi, with only enough money for some food, transport and the clothes on their back.
After registering with the United Nation’s High Commission for... Continue Reading >>
Its been 10 months since I left my previous job in Los Angeles and had the privilege to become a Kiva Fellow. I began working in beautiful Kenya and am now in colorful Colombia. Though geographically far apart, there are more similarities between the two countries than one might think.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>