Stories tagged with Rwanda

Jul 7, 2010 RW Rwanda

By Ron Turley KF11.5

I see that Kiva has begun to recognise those of us who are/have been fellows. On our lenders page, we have a distinctive Kiva “K” on our pictures, links to Kiva Fellow blogs we have posted and the name of the country and MFI with which we worked.

This is very embarrassing for me as I feel I did not earn any of it.

Three days after arriving in Kigali, I developed a medical condition that required me to be repatriated. I was there long enough to find accommodation, acquire a cell phone and Internet...

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Jul 7, 2010 RW Rwanda

Austin Harris, KF11 Rwanda

Blue Financial Services is a Microfinance Institute (MFI) that began in 2001 and gained extensive coverage in Africa operating in 13 countries.  The MFI champions itself as providing ethical microfinance to underbanked people of Africa.  In 2007, Blue Financial Services Rwanda, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Blue Financial Services, was licensed as an MFI and started providing financial services, including salary advances, personal loans, home improvement loans, education loans, and debt consolidation.  In June 2010, only three years after its...

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Jul 7, 2010 RW Rwanda

Austin Harris, KF11 Rwanda

In September 2009, Vision Finance Company (VFC), a major microfinance bank in Rwanda, established a branch office in Rwamagana, a city in eastern Rwanda.  Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB), another major microfinance bank in Rwanda, had established a branch office in the same area in June of that same year.  The two branch offices are located just across the street from each other.  Shortly after VFC began lending money, it noticed the number of delinquent payments and defaults were much higher than normal.  This trend continued and the cause remained...

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Jun 6, 2010 BO Bolivia

By Kevin Henderson, KF11, Mongolia with contributions from Austin, Sally, Alexis, Leah, Cheney, Kati and Eva

When I found out I was going to Mongolia this summer as a Kiva Fellow, I thought I’d probably have a tough time catching much of the World Cup. It hasn’t been the case at all. Like many Kiva Fellows, I’ve found the World Cup really is a global event. With a few exceptions it seems like there are celebrations just about everywhere.

In Mongolia there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the World Cup. The contestants on Universe Best Song (the Mongolian equivalent of...

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Jun 6, 2010 RW Rwanda

By Ron Turley KF11.5

Last week my departure date was June 28th. Now it’s Monday that I will be off to Kigali Rwanda to work with Vision Finance Company (VFC).

Claude, my predecessor had been filling me on VFC and the things that he did there and has been most helpful in my quest to find accommodation. I have still yet to commit to any of the opportunities, but my preference would be to stay with a local family.

But the best advice Claude gave me was to read A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It...

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Jun 6, 2010 RW Rwanda

Austin Harris, KF11 Rwanda

Economic growth is a focus and concern of most countries.  In developing countries the economic growth potential is often large and its effects can greatly benefit many in need.  One approach to achieving this goal is to increase the labor force or the output from labor.  Microfinance has been a significant contributor to this growth.  Among its benefits, microfinance loans have enabled more people to work.  Many of the poor have difficulties finding employment, and the capital provided by microfinance loans enables them to conduct business.  Also...

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May 5, 2010 RW Rwanda

Signs of Hope in Rwanda

Claude Mansell, KF10, Rwanda

Sixteen years after the genocide it is time to reflect on where the country stands in its pursuit to stability and offering new perspectives to the population. Having been a Kiva Fellow in Rwanda for the last 4 months, I would love to share some personal observations with you.

My main observation is that there are signs of hope all over the country. Opposite the office of Vision Finance, Kiva’s first microfinance partner in Rwanda, is this tiny restaurant called Hope 2020. Its 20...

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May 5, 2010 RW Rwanda

Rwandan microfinance partner VFC  goes mobile

Claude Mansell, KF10, Rwanda

Microfinance is rarely associated with high technology. Neither is Africa. Yet here is Rwandan Microfinance Institution Vision Finance Company about to launch its pilot in mobile payments, in two of its 9 branches.

In a partnership with World Vision and MTN, the leading phone company in Rwanda, Vision Finance Company (VFC) has started a 12 month project that will lead to 30% of its customers doing their monthly...

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May 5, 2010 RW Rwanda

Austin Harris, KF11 Rwanda

In 1994, over the course of 100 days, a mass killing of an estimated 800,000 people in Rwanda took place.   These killings were targeted at Tutsis and pro-peace Hutus, reducing the country’s population by over 10%.  Many witnessed family members and friends murdered, tortured, and/or raped.  Of those who were not killed, around two million Rwandans fled to neighboring countries.  Most, even if not directly involved, were affected by the genocide.  The wounds are deep and are still healing among the people.

After the genocide Rwandans have...

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May 5, 2010 RW Rwanda

Austin Harris, KF11 Kigali, Rwanda

I am a new Kiva Fellow in the KF11 class.  The other fellows and I have headed out to the field to work with various microfinance institutions.  I recently arrived in Kigali, Rwanda to start my work with Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB).  UOB was created in July 2007 as the merger between Urwego Community Bank and Opportunity Bank of Rwanda, and is now one of the largest microfinance institutes in Rwanda.  UOB offers group loans and individual loans and array of loan products, including village phone loans, school tuition loans, bicycle loans...

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