Nancy Tuller

Fellows Blog Posts by Nancy Tuller

Sep 11, 2009 GH Ghana

Memories of Ghana

by Nancy Tuller, KF8, Ghana

I came to Ghana as a Kiva Fellow at a time when the entire country had been experiencing an economic turndown.  Since the beginning of this year, the Ghanaian currency has been losing value, prices have been creeping steadily upward, and the fishing and farming industries have been experiencing low outputs.  Ghanaians, even the relatively few who would be considered “well-to-do”, are feeling the pinch.  For the poor, who are...

Continue Reading >>


Sep 5, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8, Ghana

As a Kiva Fellow in Ghana, the most rewarding aspect of my fellowship has been meeting people like Khadija, whom I met while visiting microloan clients in a “zogo” (Muslim neighborhood) in Hohoe, in the eastern region of Ghana.  Because she touched me deeply, I’d like to share the little I know of her story with you.

Khadija is a beautiful woman who has seen more than her share of hard times.  In this photo, you can see her lovely smile, which I had to coax from her after we had quietly chatted for some time.  She has had one leg amputated, and...

Continue Reading >>


Sep 3, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8, Cape Coast, Ghana

Some days as a Kiva Fellow are just about soaking up the culture, and Nyame adom (“by God’s grace”), I have my Kiva counterpart here in Ghana, Ab (short for Abraham) to help me out with that.  For example, how else would I know the difference between kenkey and kente?  Some days, as we are traveling to our destination or the electricity has gone out again and all work is halted, we have 30 minutes to one hour sessions on the nuances of various types and textures of kenkey, Ab’s favorite dish made of maize and often served with fish,...

Continue Reading >>


Aug 16, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8, Ghana

Fuseina is the kind of person that you want in your life.  She is kind, gracious, friendly, confident, warm, generous in spirit and loving, all at the same time.  Our short visit together reminded me of the reason I am here, and the reason I love this work (if you can call it that!), and the reason I so admire what Kiva is facilitating.  This is human connection at its finest.

This connection is what drew me to microfinance 15 years ago.  When Kiva came up with a way to personalize that connection even further with their online lending to specific...

Continue Reading >>


Jul 30, 2009 GH Ghana

Hotel Obama

By Nancy Tuller

KF8, Cape Coast, Ghana, Africa

I knew President Obama was going to visit Ghana even before I came here, and was excited to think that perhaps on some off-chance I might meet him.  Ha!  After completing my first placement as a Kiva Fellow in the regional capital of Kumasi, I arrived in the country’s capital, Accra, on July 8th, and Obama arrived the next day on July 9th.  I went to several hotels and all were fully booked.  My taxi driver...

Continue Reading >>


Jul 17, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller,

Kiva Fellow Class 8, Ghana, Africa

As a Kiva Fellow in Ghana, Africa, I have been working with Sinapi Aba Trust (SAT), established in 1994 and based in Kumasi, the heart of the Ashanti region.  Sinapi Aba, as the non-governmental organization (NGO) is often referred to, has a vision of dedication to the building of a nation in which the strong help the weak and people’s dignity is maintained through their own efforts at providing for themselves, their families, and their community.  The NGO aims to do this through the provision of both financial and non-...

Continue Reading >>


Jun 18, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8, Ghana, Africa

I have a professor and mentor from my undergraduate days whose advice and thoughts I value and respect so much.  I still communicate with him regularly, and over the years, the topic of interest rates in microfinance has come up repeatedly in our conversations.  This is the man from whom I first learned about community currency, an alternative exchange system used alongside national currencies.  He is knowledgeable about micro and macroeconomics, as well as finance.  However, our conversations about interest rates for microloans always end the...

Continue Reading >>


Jun 2, 2009 GH Ghana

By Nancy Tuller, KF8 Ghana, Africa

“Akwaaba!”  (Welcome!), I heard, over and over in my first few days here in Ghana, and what a wonderful welcome it has been!  When I stepped outside the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, my heart lept at the feel of the warm and humid summer night clinging to my skin and the cacophony of voices in Twi, which is the most commonly spoken language here in Ghana.  It sounded to me like a kind of chaotic harmony, blending perfectly with snatches of disparate Ghanaian music coming from various vehicles as I left the airport for my hotel.  Every face...

Continue Reading >>