Fellows Blog Posts by Michelle

Aug 7, 2010 GH Ghana

Michelle Baker, KF 11 Ghana/Tanzania

The best part of being a Kiva fellow is meeting with the borrowers.  During my first two months as a Kiva fellow, I had the opportunity to meet with several borrowers to learn how they used their micro loans and to learn about their hopes for the future.  What I found most impressive about many of the borrowers was that although they had very little formal education, they were very business-minded and had big dreams of expanding their businesses.

I would like to share the stories of two business savvy Ghanaian women.    Since they are both...

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Jun 24, 2010 GH Ghana

By Michelle Baker, KF 11, Ghana

“Azuma blow” refers to locally made soap commonly found in the rural areas of Ghana.   Apparently, the soap is named after the much beloved Ghanaian three-time featherweight boxing champion, Azuma Nelson.  Although every person I have asked has told me that “Azuma blow” is named after Azuma Nelson, the reasons for the soap being named after him have varied.   One person told me that it was because the soap looked like the blow of Azuma Nelson.  Another person told me that it was because the soap is very hard and heavy like Azuma Nelson’s fist blows...

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May 26, 2010 GH Ghana

By Michelle Baker, KF11 Ghana

I am a Kiva Fellow working at Sinapi Aba Trust, which is located in Kumasi, Ghana in the heart of the Ashanti.  Sinapi Aba Trust is an autonomous private non-for-profit organization established in 1994 with a mission to “serve as the Mustard Seed through which opportunities for enterprise development and income generation are given to the economically disadvantaged to transform their lives.”

When I was in the field, I had an opportunity to see how Sinapi Aba uses it mission to teach and inspire its staff and borrowers.  Here is a list of guiding...

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May 24, 2010 GH Ghana

By Michelle Baker, KF11 Ghana

I spent the entire past week out in the field training branches and meeting with Kiva borrowers, and it was the most inspiring thing I have experienced in a very long time.

The loan officers are some of the most amazing people who I have met. Without their hard work, I am certain that microfinancing would not be possible. The loan officers that I met start their days before 8:00 a.m. and end as late as 11:00 p.m. They do not spend their days in a comfortable air-conditioned office, but instead spend most of their time traveling from rural town...

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May 10, 2010 GH Ghana

By Michelle Baker, KF11 Ghana

I have been in Kumasi, Ghana for about 10 days just in time for the rainy season. Many people living in tropical areas probably know that when the rain comes the city shuts down, along with the power and the water supply. When you ask, when will the rain stop, the reply is “Soon.” When you ask, when will the power come back, the reply is “Soon.” When you ask, when will the water come back, the reply is “Soon.” I am coming to realize that “soon” really means MAYBE in a few hours if you’re lucky.

A few nights ago, there was a terrible...

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