Fellows Blog Posts by Noreen Giga

Apr 26, 2011 PE Peru

By Noreen Giga, KF 14, Peru

Founded in 1986, Prisma is celebrating 25 years of bringing “financial services and non-financial services to disadvantaged communities in order to strengthen them, and promote sustainable social and economic development.” And the credit branch of Prisma, Microfinanzas Prisma, formed in 1994 is celebrating 17 years of reaching Peru’s urban and rural poor.

Microfinanzas Prisma extends throughout Peru with a total of 15 agencies and 10 offices in the country.

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Mar 30, 2011 PE Peru

By Noreen Giga, KF14, Peru

Mine entailed traveling around Central Peru for a week and a half. Part of a fellow’s duty is to complete a Borrower Verification. Kiva selects a random sample of ten clients that represents an organization’s portfolio and sends it to us fellows. We, in turn, visit each and every client on the list to verify that they are who they say they are, that they indeed received a loan for the amount posted on Kiva’s website, and to talk to them about their business and loan use. You can think of it as a mini-audit process.

I am serving as a fellow...

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Mar 10, 2011 PE Peru

By Noreen Giga, KF 14, Peru

I first heard this phrase while studying abroad in Spain my junior year of college. My friends and I said “no pasa nada” every other sentence when we realized there was really no limit as to when this phrase could be used. Walk in on someone in the bathroom? “No pasa nada” would be the response. Bedridden with a cold? “No pasa nada.” Walk in late to class because you overslept? “No pasa nada.”

“No pasa nada” has taken on a new meaning to me now, preventing HIV discrimination in Peru. I was heading to Cajamarca, Peru to celebrate Carnival;...

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Feb 28, 2011 PE Peru

I found myself asking that very question shortly after I started working with Microfinanzas Prisma. I arrived in Lima, Peru the end of January for my three month Kiva Fellowship and headed to my hostel in San Isidro, the financial district of Lima. I spent the few days before my fellowship touring the city.

I visited the center of the city and saw the Plaza de Armas.

And went back to take in the view at night.

I visited Miraflores, a district of Lima that is located on the water.

And I of course found some time to visit Barranco, another...

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Feb 4, 2011 PE Peru

After my first week as a Kiva Fellow my short answer is no, and I guess the slightly longer answer, definitely not! That is what the clients of Microfinanzas PRISMA have shown me, especially Rosa of San Juan de Miraflores in Lima, Peru. Rosa is preparing the lunch she will serve to customers in the back kitchen when Ángela, the Kiva Assistant in the Lima Sur office of PRISMA, and I arrive. She comes outside immediately to talk to us, bringing a savory smell of potatoes with her.

Rosa is 56 years old and preparing to open her own restaurant in her house in the next year or so. How...

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