Kathy Guis

As Portfolio Manager for Francophone and North Africa, Kathy Guis is responsible for oversight and expansion of Kiva’s microfinance partnerships in the region. Currently based in San Francisco, Kathy began working with Kiva in February 2010. She spent her first two years with Kiva as a Senior Field Support Specialist working remotely in Dakar, Senegal and Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to working with Kiva, she worked at nonprofit literary journal Memoir, and organized the journal’s memoir writing program with juvenile detainees. Kathy graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Comparative Literature, summa cum laudein 2006. She is fluent in French, and has traveled extensively in Francophone Africa and the Middle East.

Kiva Blog Updates

Dec 2, 2010 KV Kiva HQ

We’re very happy to announce that there are now loans from Kiva’s first Jordanian field partner, Tamweelcom, on Kiva.org. Tamweelcom is a worldwide leader in the microfinance industry, having been named one of the top 10 microfinance institutions worldwide by the MIX Market in 2007 and 2008. The organization has also been recognized by the Arab microfinance network Sanabel, the Schwab foundation, and CGAP for its distinguished performance in the microfinance industry....

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Oct 23, 2010 KV Kiva HQ
Many of us have read about severe flooding in the West Africa in the news recently. Annual flooding is a norm this region, but this year’s floods have been severe, causing hundreds of deaths and leaving 100,000 people homeless across Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger and other nations. This flooding is part of a pattern of floods that have taken lives and homes all across West Africa in recent months—the United Nations estimated 421 dead and 1.7 million displaced in West and Central Africa since June.

We were relieved to learn that the staff of Kiva’s Beninois field partner Alidé, which... Continue Reading >>
Oct 5, 2010 KV Kiva HQ
Senegal is a beautiful country with a long coastline, welcoming people and fantastic music. But for most Senegalese people, life is not easy. The unemployment rate in Senegal was 48% in 2001 (CIA World Factbook), and most any Senegalese person will tell you that life in 2010 is harder here than life was in 2001. Costs have risen, salaries stagnated, and the middle class has continued to shrink. Even those who are lucky enough to have jobs often struggle to feed their families.

This situation encourages immigration to relatively wealthy European countries such as France, Spain, and... Continue Reading >>
Sep 29, 2010
Please join us in welcoming CHF International Access to Credit Services Initiative Iraq (ACSI) to the Kiva family.

In the wake of years of war, very few Iraqis have access to startup capital or collateral required to obtain a loan. While it’s difficult to find a reliable statistic for Iraq’s unemployment rate, its clear that the economy is in need of deep investment and reconstruction; the CIA World Factbook notes an official unemployment rate of 15.8%, with unofficial figures as high as 30%. Other sources have estimated a rate as high as 60%. (Gen. Barry McAffrey estimated it to... Continue Reading >>
Jun 15, 2010

Kiva’s newest field partner, Amasezerano Community Banking S.A. is as lovable as its native country Rwanda. And that’s no small statement, because Rwanda could win anyone over—it has endless green hills and an engaged, courageous citizenry.

Rwanda is often seen as an international development success story in process—Kigali’s streets are clean, and the Rwandan population benefits from basic national health insurance. But poverty remains grinding and ever-present. The majority of the population lives below 250 Rwandan francs (about $0.43) per day (CIA World Factbook), and the...

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