As a fellow, the hardest part of working with a new Kiva field partner can also be the most rewarding. Learning to live and work in an environment without the benefit of a previous fellow’s experience can be challenging. When I arrived in Richards Bay in November, I scrambled to establish accommodations, transportation, and learn my way around an area of South Africa typically ignored by tourists. As such, the area offers little infrastructure...Continue Reading >>
Fellows Blog Posts by EB Moore
Now that Women’s Development Businesses (WDB), Kiva’s new field partner in South Africa, has begun posting loans, maybe you’re curious about who their clients are. During my time as a Kiva Fellow I have had the opportunity to meet many of WDB’s clients and visit their businesses. Not only have I been able to see how they are making use of their loans, but I’ve also heard about their past struggles and future hopes. I want to share with you snapshots into the lives of two of WDB’s clients from the Mpumalanga province:
Gladys Mkuonto, 40, has been...Continue Reading >>
If you’re a frequent visitor to Kiva or the Fellows blog, you have probably noticed that Kiva is constantly evolving. As an organization that just celebrated its fifth year and is experiencing tremendous expansion, Kiva is adding new field partners to keep up with the incredible capacity and desire for connection demonstrated by its lenders.
To that end, please join me in welcoming Women’s Development Businesses as Kiva’s newest field partner. Not only is WDB bringing its borrowers to the Kiva community, but it is also allowing Kiva lenders to connect with...Continue Reading >>
Though I have only spent three months in Liberia working as a fellow with LEAP, Kiva’s field partner here, as I prepare to leave the country this weekend I find that I’m at a loss for words to describe my feelings. I’ll be honest – it took me a while to adjust to life here, but now that I have I’m really going to miss all the wonderful people I met and Liberia’s unique culture. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m following suit from Sarah Curl’s photo-diary of Uganda to let some photos do the talking for me:... Continue Reading >>
As the concept of microfinance has become more widely known, it has grown to occupy a strange space between business and philanthropy. For loans to be effective, they need to be repaid. To encourage clients to repay, loans must be seen as partnerships rather than charity. Many MFIs work hard to ensure that their operations operate as legitimate businesses; yet going public, as SKS and Compartamos have done, spurs outrage from critics. If these MFIs have a duty to shareholders, they argue, how can they also have a duty to reduce the poverty of their clients?
So which is it: business...Continue Reading >>
By EB Moore, KF12
To help wrap up food month at Kiva, I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned about Liberian food. Liberia I’ve been here for a month now and have gotten the opportunity to try a number of different local dishes. I wasn’t sure what to expect before my departure, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised!
Liberian cuisine consists of a lot of rice and various forms...Continue Reading >>
By EB Moore, KF12 Liberia
Several days ago I attended an event at Monrovia’s City Hall called “Internet Camp Liberia.” I found it very informative and well-targeted, in addition to having some larger implications for microfinance.
Representatives from Google’s regional African offices, in coordination with a local programming expert, put on a two-day series of presentations targeting a variety of audiences throughout the region including businesses, NGOs, students, academics, and general internet users. The presentations and Q&A sessions spanned a number of...Continue Reading >>
As Kiva lenders, you have experienced the exciting feeling of seeing your loaned funds return to your account, ready to be re-lent – but what happens when your funds aren’t returned when you were expecting them (or at all)?
As a Kiva fellow working with LEAP (Local Enterprise Assistance Program) in Liberia, I was able to get first hand experience with how delinquent loans are dealt with. After just one week on the job, I joined a loan officer, branch manager, and branch supervisor on their trip to visit clients in arrears (e.g. clients that have missed payments).
LEAP mainly...Continue Reading >>