Kate Bennett

Prior to working with Kiva, Kate lived in Quito, Ecuador working in environmental management as a consultant for USAID implementing partners in the global south. After earning her B.A. in Political Economy, Postcolonial History, and Development from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in January 2010, she pursued a practice-based understanding of effective tools in development through work with New York based social change organizations and grassroots nonprofit organizations in Guatemala. Kate worked previously with Kiva as a Kiva Fellow in Ecuador and Peru, which fomented her commitment to microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation.

Fellows Blog Posts by Kate Bennett

Jan 4, 2012 PE Peru

By Kate Bennett, KF15 Ecuador / KF16 Perú

After my first placement in Ecuador, I thought I knew living and working in South America- three months in Ica, Perú proved me wrong. New (and delicious) food, a drastically different (and drier) climate, and wonderful new friends, coworkers, and chicha-vending Kiva borrowers showed me another side of South America’s many amazing countries and cultures. As I phase out of my second fellowship back into the real world, I want to share these photos, and photos from my first placement in Ecuador, with you lenders and give thanks...

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Dec 30, 2011 AZ Azerbaijan

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16 Peru

Do: A Kiva Fellowship. It'll change your life. (Eric Rindal, KF15 Sierra Leone, KF16 Bolivia)

The sixteenth class of Kiva Fellows has all but left the field- but we’re by no means done talking about our experiences. We’ve collectively spent 422 weeks in the field (just over 8 years!) and worked an estimated 16,650 hours at Kiva field partners around the world.  Needless to say, we’ve got a lot of...

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Dec 28, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Kate Bennett, KF15 Ecuador / KF16 Perú

My first placement in Ecuador was my first time in the country. Turns out that Ecuador is every bit as incredible as the guide books say, and more. I was continously struck by the warmth and openness of the Ecuadorian people (and their passion for politics!), the beauty of the mountains, jungle, and countryside, the richness of Ecuadorian food, the strength of the Kiva borrowers I met there, and my persisting inability to salsa as well as my coworkers. These are a few of my favorite photos of my time there. Stay tuned for my next...

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Dec 8, 2011 PE Peru

By Kate Bennett, KF16, Perú

In the United States, it was ushered in on Friday the 25th of November in the wee hours of the morning. Here in Ica, Perú, it is manifested in the towering polyethylene Christmas tree and tinsel-adorned telephone booths in the Plaza del Sol shopping mall. Around the world, in many forms, it’s upon us: the season of giving.

This season is one of my favorites of the year, and not only because it means warbling off carols with family and friends or immersing myself in the yuletide spirit...

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Dec 5, 2011 HN Honduras

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

The president of one of Kiva Field Partner Micro Start's solidarity groups. By Allison Moomey, KF16, Burkina Faso

This week’s updates come at a time of change for Fellows around the world. As the holidays near, Fellows prepare to phase out of their current placements, move on to the next ones, and tie up loose ends with their Kiva Field Partners. But this doesn’t interfere with Fellows’ primary...

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Nov 21, 2011 EC Ecuador

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

A borrower who took out microfinance loans to purchase a water tank and greenhouse. By Claire Markham, in Nairobi, Kenya

Last week’s stories from the field elucidate readers on a number of Kiva-questions, and pose a few questions of their own: what is a Wandering Kiva Fellow, and is a Kiva Fellowship right for you? How can microloans support a green or agriculturally sustainable economy? In a country bouncing back from a civil war, how can...

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Nov 16, 2011 PE Peru

By Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

My first loan officer training in June, at Fundación Alternativa in Quito, Ecuador

The most challenging part of loan officer trainings for we Kiva Fellows is not instructing loan officers to obtain signed consent forms from borrowers, or explaining how money moves from lender, to Kiva, to Caja Rural, to the client. The most difficult explanation is often how and why. That there are hundreds of thousands of lenders out there,...

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Nov 7, 2011 EC Ecuador

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

Students from Fundación Paraguaya's financially self-sufficient San Francisco Agricultural School sell their products in Asunción's weekly farmer's market

This week’s Fellows Blog is armed with stories from the field: stories of the uncertain world borrowers live in, and how they (and we) cope with it. We’ve learned that everyone gets tired running a 5K in Paraguay, but for a good enough cause, we can...

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Nov 5, 2011 PE Peru

By Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

The challenges of rural and agricultural microfinance are many: the least of which, in the case of Kiva Field Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren, is living in the middle of the Sechura Desert. But Caja Rural’s clients show the same impregnable determination I witnessed during my first fellowship in Ecuador. Against all odds (and weather patterns), they’re growing their businesses, investing in their lives, and laying the foundation for a thriving future.

This week I had the pleasure of...

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Nov 1, 2011 PE Peru

By Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

Last Friday morning my Fellows Blog post mentioned the devastation of the 2007 Peruvian Earthquake in Ica, Peru and the surrounding areas. At 2 PM local time later that day, another earthquake shook the city.

Kiva Fellow David Connelly, my predecessor here at Kiva Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren, has written before about the 2007 8.0 magnitude earthquake. The statistics are chilling: 519 people dead, 1366 injured, and some 76,000 homes collapsed. “After two and a half years,” he wrote in 2010, “Ica is still very much recovering.” Last...

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