Drew Kinder

Fellows Blog Posts by Drew Kinder

Feb 26, 2008 UG Uganda

I am writing from Buffalo NY upon the completion of my three month commitment as a Kiva Fellow in Uganda.  I want to use my final post on the Kiva Fellows Blog to thank the people who made this one of the most significant and rewarding experiences of my life.

KIVA.ORG:  First, thank you Matt and Jessica Flannery for inventing Kiva.  I have great admiration for what you started, especially since you invented an entirely new model of microfinance funding.  Without your effort and...

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Feb 19, 2008 UG Uganda

Kampala, Uganda    “Poverty reduction is a three legged stool balanced on income generation, savings, and education” according to Mr. Knondoker Ariful Islam, BRAC Uganda Country Manager. “Take one leg away and the stool tips over.”

While Kiva social lenders are focused on the income generating leg of poverty reduction, this discussion pertains to the education leg; specifically post-conflict education in Uganda.

Education is one of the first victims of civil conflict in Africa. This is especially true where children are targeted as potential child soldiers...

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Feb 15, 2008 UG Uganda

Kampala, Uganda    A loan funded by Kiva social lenders benefits the Microfinance Institution (MFI), the lender, as well as the poor borrower.   The MFI potentially earns gross profit from the loan to sustain its business and, in the case of a MFI structured as a for-profit company, to generate a financial return for the owners.

Where the MFI is a not-for-profit venture, surplus interest income may be invested in non-financial programs which generate expenses but little or no revenue.

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Jan 21, 2008 UG Uganda

Nabwire Carolyn, Manager of BRAC Uganda’s Kalerwe Branch, awakens at 5:30 each work day.  A devoutly religious person, she spends the first half hour of each day in prayer.  Next she prepares her two children for the day.   Joshua, age 4, attends pre-school and Ester, age 2, goes to day care.  Carolyn prepares breakfast for the children and her husband, Joseph, who is a computer programmer and web designer.  At 6:30 Joseph departs in the family car to drop the children off at school on his way to work.

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Jan 19, 2008 UG Uganda

How does a 48 year old widow in Uganda with no job, no savings, very little education, and no business training provide for eleven orphans, ranging in age from 9 to 17?

One answer is to take out a US $180 micro-loan from BRAC Uganda and work very hard to establish and operate two successful small businesses.

The story of how Bayiyana Regina came to be the sole supporter of eleven orphans is both a tragic commentary on life and death in Uganda and an inspirational tale of sacrifice and perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity....

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Dec 21, 2007 UG Uganda

Here are some of the unique gifts I will be enjoying this Christmas in Uganda;

The Gift of Calm in the Midst of Chaos.  When I read that it is culturally unacceptable to express anger in public in Uganda, I did not really believe it.  Coming for the US, where people routinely drop “F” bombs in public, where  TV and movie plots always seem to involve violence and rage, and where the 24 hour news cycle is dominated by shouting, I found the notion of a society devoid of public anger...

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Dec 11, 2007 UG Uganda

Kampala, Uganda Florence Kaluuba is a soft spoken 50 year old school principal who won’t accept no for an answer.

As a teenager she was a brilliant student, excelling in mathematics. At a time when she ranked 8th out of 160 students, her uncle refused to allow her to enroll in the next higher grade level, where she hoped to become a medical doctor. Florence still remembers his words, “She is a girl, and girls just get pregnant anyway”. The uncle decided she would train to be a primary school teacher, which required much less education. Florence enrolled in primary...

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Dec 10, 2007 UG Uganda

Friends and family have asked about the mundane details of my life as a Kiva Fellow in Uganda. “Where do you live?”and “What is your job?” are two frequently asked questions (FAQ’s).

Where I live: I am a resident of the Kolping Guest House on Bombo Road in the Bwaise neighborhood of Kampala. The Kolping is part of a worldwide chain of guesthouses operated by the International Kolping Society which was founded by Adolph Kolping as a Catholic, educational and action-oriented organization. Fr. Kolping was born on December 8, 1813, in Kerpen, a small village not...

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Dec 3, 2007 UG Uganda

I first met Rose Kasoma at the office of Share an Opportunity (SAO) Microfinance, Ltd in Kampala, Uganda where she came to pay the monthly installment on her $1,200 loan funded by Kiva lenders.  We talked briefly and I asked permission to visit her. 

On November 30, 2007, accompanied by Stuart Tamale, a young college educated Ugandan loan officer working for SAO, we went to Rose’s store. 

The store is well located in the Ugandan version of a strip...

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Dec 1, 2007 UG Uganda

David Groves is a hero.  I will probably never meet him, but if I do, I will shake his hand and thank him for boarding an airplane in Australia bound for Kampala, Uganda in 1991, armed with nothing more than the name of the author of an article published in the Baptist Union General Society Newsletter about the terrible plight of Ugandan war orphans following years of civil strife.

Mr. Groves ultimately located that author, Pastor John Ekudu,...

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