Isaac

Fellows Blog Posts by Isaac

May 14, 2010 MZ Mozambique

By Isaac Iglesias, KF10, Mozambique
 
Is football, shall I say soccer, still not big in America? In the countries where I was born or spent most of my adulthood it certainly is. And so it is in Mozambique, where I am based for my Kiva Fellowship at the moment. Mozambique is the country where Kiva operates that is closest to South Africa. Four weeks from today -by the way: today I am seeing my 28th spring feliz cumpleaños to me -, the Football World Cup will start in South Africa and many friends and lenders have asked me...
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Apr 29, 2010 MZ Mozambique

By Isaac Iglesias, KF10, Mozambique

I used to work in the loan business area at the London headquarters of a major global bank. Now I get a lot of emails from friends asking me how different traditional credit and microcredit are from a worker’s point of view. I get even more emails from people who are contemplating jumping from traditional to microfinance and asking me about my personal experience.

With all those emails and conversations, and for future reference, I have compiled a list of the 10 main differences I have found between working in the two...

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Apr 14, 2010 MZ Mozambique

by Isaac Iglesias, KF10, Mozambique

Unlike much of the rest of the world, Mozambique did not hold any holiday for Easter. However, April 7th was a national holiday to celebrate the day of the Mozambican woman. In spite of having the 11th lowest Human Development Index in the world, Mozambique does not score poorly in women’s rights when  compared to its peers. Every year on this day, events are held across the country to celebrate what has been achieved already in terms of gender equality, but also to remind Mozambicans that there is still a long way to go.

I would...

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Mar 30, 2010 MZ Mozambique

By Isaac Iglesias, KF10, Mozambique

There is arguably a problem larger than poverty in southern Africa. Although not reaching the levels of neighbouring Swaziland, whose mid-term future as a country and people is uncertain, HIV is rife in Mozambique. One in six adults is estimated to carry antibodies for the disease, as are over 100,000 children.

I happen to belong to the oldest generation that has always been aware of the existence of HIV. Many readers probably remember a time when it did not exist. In the late ’80s, I saw intravenous drug use and HIV...

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Mar 22, 2010 MZ Mozambique

By Isaac Iglesias, KF10, Mozambique

I used to work in the credit card industry for a major bank in London, looking at portfolios in the developed world. One of my biggest surprises when I started working with my MFI was the fact that they are much pushier than their European and American counterparts when it comes to asking for loan repayments. Before approving a loan, an assessment of the equity of the borrower is performed; and some or most of his property is offered as collateral. This is usually a fridge, a television or a piece of furniture. If a borrower starts to...

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