Ashley King-Bischof

Fellows Blog Posts by Ashley King-Bischof

Jun 10, 2009

Why is it that Kiva gets a bad rep for funding MFIs that give out loans to the people who otherwise would not receive them?! Recently, a blog was written on socialedge.org/blogs about a particular experience a “video journalist” had when she visited MFIs in Cambodia and Mozambique and spoke to “countless Kiva loan recipients” while there. The author’s article was based on the fact that “none of them had succeeded at pulling themselves out of poverty” because of these five reasons:

1) The High Interest Rates Being Charged 2) Inadequate...

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Jun 8, 2009 CM Cameroon

Almost finished with my four months at GHAPE, in Bamenda, Cameroon, I thought I would share with everyone all the “thank yous” I heard while interviewing GHAPE/Kiva borrowers.

To all the Kiva lenders, “I thank them plenty!”

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May 21, 2009

Arguably the best things about GHAPE is the execution of their social mission. They take a lot of pride in fostering a sense of community that not only educates their borrowers on topics such as loan management and hygiene, but also allows their members to feel apart of a group that shares in their triumphs and losses. GHAPE organizes centers so that borrowers feel comfortable speaking in their center, and at the same time, there is a professionalism during the meetings. Visiting now 12 of the 28 centers, the slight differences in each center shows that GHAPE gives centers the autonomy to...

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May 2, 2009 CM Cameroon

GHAPE – Grounded and Holistic Approach for People’s Empowerment, has three branches in Cameroon. Each branch is located in the North West Region: the capital city, Bamenda, houses GHAPE headquarters. Traveling from branch to branch, center to center, one can see the differences in landscape in Cameroon. Bamenda, a bustling city with lots of commerce is the central location for GHAPE. In Momo and Belo, the farmers reign in their small-town atmospheres.

Momo is a small, small town, equipped with a motor park for those who look to sell their produce outside the city. Home...

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Apr 13, 2009 CM Cameroon

Living in Bamenda, Cameroon is relatively inexpensive. Taking a taxi from one end of the city to the other can cost you a maximum of 250 CFAs (50 cents). Granted, with everything else, you have to sacrifice some luxuries. Using the taxi as an example, the driver, at times, will fit 7 passengers with him in his mid-sized sedan. That is not unusual, especially for longer trips. Other purchases can be extremely cheap when compared to US prices. An avocado, or “pear” here, costs about 75 CFA (or 15 cents). They can cost even less at times. The trick to getting the low price is,...

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Feb 24, 2009 CM Cameroon

A warm welcome to the Kiva Fellows Blog! I would like to introduce myself to you, my name is Ashley King-Bischof. As one of the last KF7 Fellows to arrive in the field, I make my way to Bamenda, Cameroon with much anticipation and excitement. My travels to Cameroon started in the San Francisco Bay Area and will last more than a couple of days before arriving to my final destination. The first part of my trek was across North America to New York City, where I am now. From there I have a longer red-eye to London, a quick jet over to Zurich and then another flight to Douala, Cameroon. As a...

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