Fellows Blog Posts by Athan Makansi

Aug 11, 2009 WS Samoa

By Athan Makansi -  KF8 – SPBD, Samoa

A picture captures a thousand words.  Here are a few thousand words from my past 9 weeks with Kiva Partner South Pacific Business Development in Samoa:

Beach in Savaii, Samoa

Although poor, Samoa has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Bright, white sand, dotted with fallen coconuts and perfected by the sound of rolling waves make Samoa a good place for vacationers...

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Aug 3, 2009 WS Samoa

By: Athan Makansi – KF8 – SPBD, Samoa

A few days ago my grandmother sent me an email:


Thank you for your updates.  I have really enjoyed reading them.  I was wondering, from your experience in Samoa, do you think poverty is a state of mind?  Also do you think the women borrowers gain a sense of worth from access to financial services?


Grandma Nellie

I love you too Grandma, and you got me thinking.  So here’s my answer.

Many Samoans do not think of themselves as...

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Jul 14, 2009 WS Samoa

By: Athan Makansi – KF8 – SPBD, Samoa

Kiva is about stories.  From borrower profiles and journal updates, we learn about individual borrowers all over the world and their struggle to work themselves out of poverty.  But, some of the people most integral to the daily operations of Kiva are underrepresented on Kiva.org. Rarely do we hear stories about the credit officers all over the world who actually disburse the Kiva loans. Here are some profiles of the credit officers at South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) in Samoa.

At SPBD, the credit officers...

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Jun 19, 2009 WS Samoa

Athan Makansi – KF8 – Apia, Samoa

Jump on the Samoan time machine and watch as a few neighbors help prepare a delicious meal of taro, breadfruit, coconut cream, potatoes, chicken and tuna in a giant fire pit as Samoans have for many, many years.  But no, Samoans don’t make s’mores.


Talofa (Hello), from Samoa.  I arrived last Friday in the glorious sunshine of Samoa, eager to start my fellowship with SPBD, Kiva’s partner in Apia, the...

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