karenbuxton

Fellows Blog Posts by karenbuxton

May 12, 2010 LR Liberia

By Karen Buxton, KF10, Liberia

Liberians have many expressions that make me smile.  Rather than saying, “How are you?”  they ask “How da body?”  and respond “Body fine-o!”  Rather than “Don’t use your loan for personal expenses – use it for your business,” they encapsulate the notion into: “Don’t eat the money!”

Don’t eat the money is an important concept that is essential for microfinance to work effectively.  Over the past three months, I have observed loan...

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May 7, 2010 LR Liberia

One of the reasons I was initially inspired to do a Kiva Fellowship in Liberia is the fact that Ellen Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia four years ago, making her the first democratically elected woman president of any country in Africa.  Having been here for three months, I can personally attest to the fact that Liberia is filled with strong, determined, tenacious, resilient women.  Unfortunately, I can also attest to the fact that there are still significant disparities between men and women here; so much so that it can be unsettling.

The...

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Apr 15, 2010 LR Liberia

 

By Karen Buxton, KF10, Liberia

For Kiva’s field partners to transition from being a ‘Pilot’ partner to an ‘Active’ partner, they must successfully pass a process Kiva calls Borrower Verification.  Borrower Verification entails interviewing a random sample of 10 Kiva borrowers from the same field partner to ensure the information on the ground matches the information on Kiva’s website.  To accomplish this, you must verify the identity of the borrower, the disbursement date, the loan amount, the loan term, the loan...

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Mar 10, 2010 LR Liberia

By Karen Buxton, KF10, Liberia

Cecilia Wilson was born in Grand Kru County, Liberia, in 1964.  She graduated from Tubman High School in Monrovia when she was 18, and by the time she was 30 years old, she had two children and she found herself selling rice and oil on the sidewalk at a market just outside of Monrovia.  With the goal of improving her business by moving it off of the sidewalk, Cecilia took out her first microloan of $50 USD from a newly established microfinance institution (MFI) in Monrovia called Local Enterprise Assistance Program (LEAP). ...

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Feb 16, 2010 LR Liberia

Karen Buxton, KF10, Liberia

The Liberians United for Haiti Relief Concert took place last weekend at one of Monrovia’s large outdoor stadiums.  “Please give to Haiti!  We know what it is like to have nothing, so let us give to a country that has just been devastated,” cried the Master of Ceremonies.  The boisterous crowd raised their hands and cheered in approval.

(Photo courtesy of John Briggs, KF10)

Several thousand...

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