Fellows Blog Posts by Rachel G

Jan 17, 2011 CR Costa Rica

Rachel Gittinger, KF13, Costa Rica

Today, we honor Martin Luther King Jr., a man who stood for justice and equality in face of great adversity.  We are reminded that despite progress since the civil rights movement, both the USA and the world continue to face xenophobia and other divisive forces.  Fundación Mujer demonstrates that microcredit can be one tool that effectively counters these challenges and offers opportunity to the oppressed.

Costa Rica is a country known for keeping the peace. In fact, they are often referred to as the “Switzerland of the Americas...

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Dec 21, 2010

Rachel Gittinger KF13 Costa Rica

Each Kiva Fellow is given a placement and workplan based on their experience and the needs of the Field Partner.  These can focus on social performance, verifications, processes, evaluations and training.   I’m a trainer.  As Fundacion Mujer is still in pilot status, they have not yet mastered the ins and outs of Kiva, such as maneuvering the website, posting loan profiles, and reporting repayment information.  A large portion of my workplan is focused on training the office to sustainably complete Kiva tasks without the help of a...

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Nov 25, 2010 CR Costa Rica

Costa Rican women can give thanks for many things:

Educationally, they have comparative literacy and enrollment rates as their male counterparts.  Economically, they are doing exponentially better than their Central American neighbors, such as Nicaragua.  Politically, they are represented by the country’s first female president, Laura Chinchilla.  Legally, they are protected by a pro-woman legislature and institutions such as the INAMU, or National Institution of the Woman.  Socially, however, there is ground to be covered.

A downtown billboard this week read “at least 42...

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Nov 17, 2010 CR Costa Rica

By Rachel Gittinger, KF13, Costa Rica

Every MFI offers credit in the form of micro-loans.  It is, after all, the point of their existence.  However, many institutions, including Fundación Mujer, offer an array of other services as well.  These “wraparound” services can include anything from doctor’s visits to funeral insurance.  At the Fundación, they take the form of several capacity building activities. Courses cover a variety of topics; cooking, jam making, giving haircuts and manicures, developing viable business plans and adequately pricing services, just to name a few.


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