Stories tagged with Rwanda

Oct 10, 2009 RW Rwanda

Rainbow Over Kigali

By Gavin Sword, KF9 Rwanda

It is no secret that the rainbow is a harbinger of good things ahead.  This photo is a view of Rwanda’ capital city, Kigali after a brief rain spell.  On my very first day here, a rainbow was a happy sight indeed..

I am happy to report that I have arrived to begin my work here as a Kiva Fellow – my first day is tomorrow.  In the meantime, I thought I would (briefly) share some of...

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Aug 8, 2009 KE Kenya

By Jaclyn Berfond, Laura Buhler, Alison Carlman, Joel Carlman and Cameron Morris

Last weekend the East African Kiva Fellows delegation descended upon the bustling streets of Kampala, Uganda and the banks of the Nile River for two days of intense knowledge transfer and mild revelry. We spent hours discussing the importance of data validity in performing operational cost analyses and tried to debunk the myth that OpenOffice does not properly save .csv files for uploading repayment information to PA2. We also had a little fun. We left Kampala feeling...

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Jun 6, 2009 RW Rwanda

I am sure that many of you have read of the horrors that occurred here in Rwanda almost exactly 15 years ago, but few of us can actually envision the magnitude of such tragedy and its consequences on a society.

Upon arrival in Rwanda I have noticed many hindrances to development and I have generated a lot of criticism for the country’s economic goals etc. But my first visit to a genocide memorial changed my perspective on the place. Rather, it reminded me of the individuals that make up Rwandan society, and how truly extraordinary it is that they have managed to create a peaceful...

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Jun 6, 2009 RW Rwanda

“Allow me to introduce myself”, I’m Laura Buhler, a member of the KF8 class.

I am from Calgary, Canada and have found the transition to life in Rwanda to be very smooth, given just a couple of bumps in the road.

Exactly two weeks in to my Fellowship at Vision Finance Company (VFC) in Kigali, Rwanda, one baggage loss and one hospital visit later, I have settled in to life here in Rwanda. Since arriving, my mind has been flooded with questions and realizations about this new culture. In fact, I am sure that this constant thinking has been the factor that led to my lack of sleep...

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May 5, 2009 RW Rwanda

By Laura Buhler, KF8 Rwanda

Hello Kiva Friends!

I am Laura Buhler and I am a Kiva Fellow 8 trainee at Kiva headquarters in San Francisco. I will be heading to Kigali, Rwanda for about three months this summer. In celebration of this placement, I have loaned $25 to Joselyne, an entrepreneur in Kigali.

If you are interested in learning more about Kiva, Kiva Fellows, or microfinance in general, please stay posted with the Kiva Fellows Blog.

I encourage all of my readers to make a loan to an entrepreneur in Rwanda or around the world.

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Apr 4, 2009 RW Rwanda

It’s easier to make sense of Rwanda if you erase the human element of the Genocide that happened here fifteen years ago. If we could just pretend it wasn’t actual people who perpetrated the one million unthinkable acts, it would simplify the dynamics of the country. Afterall, if we acknowledge that it was not only people but fellow Rwandese who held the machetes, we need to also see that they still exist—and not in an abstract way but in a day-to-day, walking down the street, drinking milk for breakfast, and sending children to school kind of way.

Many perpetrators of the 1994...

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Mar 3, 2009 RW Rwanda

I’ve always been curious about what happens when microfinance clients open businesses in places where there is very little capital. Many operate small shops of household necessities but the placement of such stores is generally based more on proximity to home than a strategic evaluation of which part of town is most profitable. So how do they cope if their customers can’t afford to buy anything? Last week, I got my answer: credit.

Pen and Paper: How to issue credit, the old...

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Mar 3, 2009 KE Kenya

Not every day as a Kiva Fellow is a good one. There are days when I wait for seven hours for a credit officer to be available to take me to the field to collect journal updates for only two clients. There are hours of intermittent internet in which I am able to load less than one page. There are the clients I meet about whom I would be inspired except that after doing the math I’m not convinced they’ve found a way to run their businesses with a net profit. Luckily, after more than 7 months of victories and setbacks, I think I’m in the black.

Small moments compensate for...

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Feb 2, 2009 RW Rwanda

The word “profit” does not translate easily into foreign languages. I’ve now tried to convey the idea both in Swahili and in Kinyarwanda and I often come up with nothing more than blank stares or long pauses. The difficulty lies in what “profit” includes (or doesn’t). A client may answer my question as to what their monthly profit is with a confident declaration of “30,000 Francs”, but when I ask what she uses the profit for, she answers that she pays the rent and pays off her loan. If that is the case, then her profit is not in fact 30,000 Francs but rather is 30,000 Francs minus rent...

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Feb 2, 2009 RW Rwanda

Training microfinance institution (MFI) staff on Kiva never gets old no matter how many times I do it. The excitement lies in the great unknown of which questions they will ask once I’ve said my piece. Across the board, the staff I meet are professional and dedicated to their work. Most have been serving hundreds of clients for years before I dropped in to introduce Kiva, so it is not surprising that they are both slightly perplexed by this new element and also extremely invested in understanding it completely. Their questions illuminate for me how confusing Kiva is upon first (or...

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