Emmanuel von Arx

Fellows Blog Posts by Emmanuel von Arx

Jul 6, 2012

Emmanuel M. von Arx | KF 16+17 | Mexico

Who would have thought that my second Kiva Fellowship would teach me just as much about microfinance as about the rearing of sheep? Seriously, ask me anything you want: How do you best hold a lamb?  How do you wrestle with a grown-up mutton? How do you treat sheep for worms? Where and how often do you set them a vaccine? How do you determine a sheep’s age? Why does a sheep bite normally neither hurt nor bleed? For what reason does a sheep have four stomach compartments? And how do you compel a lamb’s reluctant mother to...

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Jun 22, 2012

Emmanuel M. von Arx | KF 16+17 | Mexico

Shortly after beginning my Kiva Fellowship with Kiva partner organization Vision Fund Mexico (also known as Fundación Realidad or FRAC), I had the joyful task of presenting two Social Performance Badges to its enthusiastic staff: one for FRAC’s strong focus on poor people, and one for its success in empowering families and communities. The description of the Family and Community Empowerment Badge on Kiva’s homepage immediately piqued my interest: it states that recipients of this badge “implement innovative business...

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Jun 1, 2012

Emmanuel M. von Arx | KF 16+17 | Mexico

I have a confession to make: I love to browse Kiva borrower profiles – even occasionally without any actual intention to make a loan. I believe that reading the stories of borrowers from all over the world and knowing their dreams tells me more about a country and the mentality of its people than even the best of all travel guidebooks. And knowing some of the challenges they are facing in their lives and how they are surmounting them, being aware of the long hours they work every day and their dedication to their...

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Apr 24, 2012 MX Mexico

Emmanuel M. von Arx | KF 16+17 | Mexico

Kiva is all about stories. What draws us all in and inspires us to lend are the stories of courageous micro-entrepreneurs that speak of hard-ship and success, challenges and dreams, love and dedication. Single mothers who request a loan to provide for their children; fathers who are able to finance their kids’ education with a business that was started originally with a Kiva loan; and youths who are the first to study in their family, thanks to the generosity of Kiva lenders (such as in the loans of Kiva´s Field Partner...

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Dec 20, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF16, Guayaquil (Ecuador)

My host and Kiva´s partner organization Banco D-MIRO provides over ten different types of microloans to borrowers in and around Guayaquil: among them loans to finance housing improvements, school expenses, medication, and loans awarded specifically to employees, young people with a great idea but no experience, and – as Ecuador´s only microfinance institution – discount loans for HIV-positive micro-entrepreneurs.

I am the first to attest, that all these loans have found enthusiastic and committed takers. Yet, one borrower...

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Dec 6, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF 16, Guayaquil (Ecuador)

Video posts on a “typical day” in the life of a Kiva Fellow are a time-honored tradition on the Fellows Blog. Past examples include the fantastic video blog of Josh Bull (KF6) on a day he spent meeting borrowers in Tarma (Peru); Nick Hamilton (KF14) has created a video blog on his life as a Kiva Fellow in Haiti and the Dominican Republic; and Josh Wilcox (KF9) has published A day in the life of a Kiva Fellow as part of his video dairy that he kept in Ica (Peru).

Many of these past videos highlight the excitement...

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Nov 15, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF16, Guayaquil (Ecuador)

One of the great joys and privileges of being a Kiva Fellow is to go along with loan officers when they are meeting Kiva borrowers and new clients. One of my most memorable outings was a visit of an HIV-clinic in a public hospital in Ecuador´s largest city Guayaquil. In the first part of this blog post I recounted how I drove with Nahin Alvarado from Banco D-MIRO´s headquarters on Guayaquil´s Isla Trinitaria to the HIV-clinic at Hospital Abel Gilbert. Nahin is the bank´s loan officer specializing in HIV-positive and/or disabled...

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Nov 2, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF16, Ecuador

“Don’t be scared to shake the hand of a client with HIV or to drink out of his glass. You cannot get infected that way.” This was the message that Nahin Alvarado repeated over and over during a training session in September with a group of twelve new and somewhat incredulous loan officers of Banco D-MIRO, when I first met him. A loan officer himself, Nahin has been with Banco D-MIRO for more than two years, focusing on two very special client groups who – not just in Ecuador – have long suffered from discrimination...

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Oct 18, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF 16, Ecuador

It happened two hours ago and my co-workers and I can still feel the shock in our bones. This day had begun like a normal day: At 7.30am Rubi Chaca – the young Kiva Coordinator of Banco D-MIRO  -, her 16-year old intern Joel Kenny Matias, and I had met outside of the bank´s headquarters, where we were picked up by Roberto, the official driver of the bank. He drove us to the branch office of Guasmo (about 3 miles from the center of Guayaquil) where we gave a training session to the local loan officers, reminding them about Kiva and...

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Sep 28, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF 16, Ecuador

What do a song and a wheelchair ramp have in common? If you are a corporate lawyer in Ecuador, you may know the answer. Everybody else, please read on.

Only recently I learned that my host and Kiva´s partner organization Banco D-MIRO has its own company song! It combines a memorable piece of poetry with a rather inspired composition. To quote some of its infectious text:

Somos tu familia, tu lugar – Somos el apoyo de tu andar – Somos credibilidad y porvenir. – Banco D-MIRO, siempre contigo – Siempre...

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