Nina

Fellows Blog Posts by Nina

Oct 13, 2010 AZ Azerbaijan

by Nina Nelan, KF12 Azerbaijan

One of the benefits of a Kiva Fellowship is the opportunity to peek behind the Kiva curtain.  Like Oz, Kiva is not always as it seems, but it’s also not smoke and mirrors.  For starters, those who work for Kiva are fully committed to its values and mission.

I was fortunate to see Kiva staff in action for 2 weeks in Azerbaijan this month, when the Regional Director, Portfolio Manager, and Field Support Specialist for Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia (APEECA) landed in Baku to visit field partners, attend a microfinance...

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Sep 30, 2010 AZ Azerbaijan

by Nina Nelan, KF12 Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s schools started the fall term on September 15th.  Kids are now smartly dressed in their white shirts and navy slacks and skirts.  And Baku traffic suddenly seems twice as bad as usual.  Universities also started back up, and the campuses buzz with the unmistakable energy of thousands of young adults concentrated in a small geographical area.

Primary and secondary education is publicly funded in Azerbaijan and government officials make much of high literacy rates and the amount of money spent on education.  However,...

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Aug 14, 2010 AZ Azerbaijan

by Nina Nelan, KF12 Azerbaijan

As my plane approached Baku’s airport, I had some mixed feelings about where I’d be living for the next 3 months.  It was a world away from Colorado, which I’d left 20 hours earlier.  All was well, however, as soon as I saw the friendly face of Ilkin, who works for the Baku branch of AqroInvest Credit Union, one of the microfinance institutions (MFIs) I will be working with during my time in Azerbaijan.  He swept me out of the airport and delivered me safely to the flat of the outgoing Kiva Fellow, Yelena, who has been working at my other...

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