Fellows Blog Posts by Nick Malouin

Feb 15, 2010 SN Senegal

By Nick Malouin, KF10, Senegal

Whether at home or abroad no one likes to see people begging for money. In the countries where most Kiva Fellows come from it’s a sad sign of social dysfunction and a failure to provide adequate opportunities for everyone. But in the developing world could it actually be a sign of progress? After all, if a country can support begging, then it must be generating income beyond mere subsistence.

In Togo, where I spent my first three months, this seemed to be the case. Even in the major towns and cities I saw very little begging and...

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Nov 16, 2009 TG Togo

By Nick Malouin, KF9, Togo

There’s something about traveling at high speeds in Africa that allows the mind to open up and do its best thinking. Maybe with the pot holes and daily frustrations left behind the brain can finally concentrate on something else. I had such an experience on a recent weekend trip to Lomé. Traveling at 60km/h, I had two hours to take in the beautiful scenery between Kpalimé and Lomé. The villages, usually a cacophony of noise and activity, had the brief illusion of serenity.

I started thinking about earlier that day when I met a client...

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Oct 27, 2009 TG Togo

Since arriving in Togo last week, a lot of my colleagues at FECECAV have asked how I actually got from Toronto to Kpalimé. Luckily, ten minutes into my trip I pulled out my trusty flip cam, which every Kiva Fellow has been given (thank you Flip!), and started shooting. The following 3-minute video is a condensed version of my trip, the full 16 hours of footage is available upon request.

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Oct 21, 2009 TG Togo

By Nick Malouin, KF9 Togo

While most of the other Kiva fellows had already been in the field for two weeks, I was at home in Toronto feeling a little left out and getting increasingly jealous. Well, I’m finally here! In Lome, Togo that is, after 3 flights and countless bad movies I arrived late Saturday night. My final destination is Kpalimé, 2 hours north of Lomé, where I will be working for three months with FECECAV, an MFI that targets under-served borrowers in the Plateaux and Maritime regions of Togo (basically the southern half of...

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