Kevin Henderson

Fellows Blog Posts by Kevin Henderson

Jul 6, 2010 MN Mongolia

By Kevin Henderson, KF11, Mongolia

“What is microfinance?” I’ve been asked this question a lot during my time as a Kiva Fellow. I used to answer by saying “microfinance is extending credit to people who do not have access to the traditional financial system” then remembering Kiva Fellows training I would add, “but not just credit, it’s providing other financial services, too.”

I think because Kiva is a lending platform and the field partner I primarily work with in Mongolia, Credit Mongol, is exclusively a lending institution*, it’s easy to forget about the “other”...

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Jun 29, 2010 BO Bolivia

By Kevin Henderson, KF11, Mongolia with contributions from Austin, Sally, Alexis, Leah, Cheney, Kati and Eva

When I found out I was going to Mongolia this summer as a Kiva Fellow, I thought I’d probably have a tough time catching much of the World Cup. It hasn’t been the case at all. Like many Kiva Fellows, I’ve found the World Cup really is a global event. With a few exceptions it seems like there are celebrations just about everywhere.

In Mongolia there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the World Cup. The contestants on Universe Best Song (the Mongolian equivalent of...

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Jun 6, 2010 MN Mongolia

By Kevin Henderson, KF11, Mongolia

On Tuesday evening the atmosphere in Ulaanbaatar felt festive. It was Women and Children’s Day, offices had been closed all day and the weather had been sunny and unusually warm, reaching a high of 30 degrees Celsius.  Even at 10pm, the streets were full of people chatting and strolling about.

It seemed like everyone was in a good mood, but I knew that many Mongolians, particularly those outside of the capital city, were likely not feeling very carefree. I’d just arrived back in the city after using the holiday weekend to travel to...

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May 19, 2010 MN Mongolia

By Kevin Henderson, KF11, Mongolia

Last week, Credit Mongol, one of Kiva’s two field partners in Mongolia, honored its top 50 clients at an annual appreciation event. The busy agenda included a presentation by Credit Mongol’s management team, a business education lecture and an awards ceremony. I was fortunate to attend this year’s event and gain a more informed perspective on Credit Mongol’s clients and its business.

Credit Mongol staff and their top 50 clients of the year

The criteria for a client to make the top 50...

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Apr 29, 2010 MN Mongolia

By Kevin Henderson, KF11, Mongolia

I’ve been in Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar, for over a week and I’m quickly learning many things about a place that I previously knew very little about: the food is quite tasty – there are even vegetarian cafes that can provide a good break from the typical meat-rich diet – English is spoken by fewer people than I had hoped and the traffic is a bit intense.  Pedestrians do not have the right of way and the flow of traffic can be unrelenting. Patience when crossing the street – that’s probably the first thing...

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