Fellows Blog Posts by Rosalind

Jul 10, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

By Rosalind Piggot, KF10, Tajikistan

Until about a month ago, I didn’t realize that currency exchange loss protection was important to Kiva Lenders.  That was until Yelena (KF11, Azerbaijan) raised the issue, pointing out a discussion on kivafriends.  Many lenders don’t lend via Field Partners that share currency risk.  Why should Kiva Lenders take on the risk of currency loss when Kiva’s Field Partners can protect against it in other ways?

What is currency risk on Kiva?

Currency risk is embedded in the Kiva system.  Currency risk...

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Jul 3, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

Tashbubu spinning wool into yarn, photo by Rob Cavese

By Rosalind Piggot, KF10, Tajikistan

“Apparently women entrepreneurs are able to raise funds more quickly than men in the world of Kiva,” wrote Peter Tashjian in his recent post.

Peter confirmed what I had long suspected. Through lender pages and meetings with other lenders, it seemed that Kiva’s women entrepreneurs had more of a following than men.

With this in mind, I thought I’d add a post on women in the Tajik...

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Jun 28, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

by Rosalind Piggot, KF10, Tajikistan

Many Kiva Entrepreneurs I have met took up business to earn money to support their families. Some previous work didn’t pay enough.

But in Tajikistan, micro-entrepreneurship has big competition when it comes to supporting the family. The rival is employment in Russia. As part of the Soviet Union for over 60 years, many Tajiks speak Russian. They can enter Russia without a special visa. With limited job opportunities and lower wages in Tajikistan, Russia is the obvious way forward for a lot of Tajiks.


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Jun 11, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

By Rosalind Piggot, KF10, Tajikistan

At 7 am the other morning, I was deafened by rhythmic Tajik dance tunes.  After squirming around on my floor mattress to try to wake up fully, I opened the window.  On the street 4 stories below, one young man was dressed in a suit holding flowers.  Thirty odd neighbors were standing around watching, dancing as the songs blasted out.

zang-e akhir

The extended family of celebrations


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May 5, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

By Rosalind Piggot, KF10, Tajikistan

I always assumed that farmers requesting loans on Kiva were carrying on a traditional, family activity.  Farming was a profession passed from father to son, from mother to daughter. The same practices were maintained for generations.  I didn’t ask any more questions.

I recently discovered that things are a little different in Tajikistan.


During a visit to a branch office of Kiva’s...

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May 2, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

By Rosalind Piggot, KF10, Tajikistan

As I sat down at the living room table, former Kiva Entrepreneur Mavluda Muhidinova hurried to show me her work.  5 plate-shaped pieces of black material were already on the table: work in progress.  Mavluda had been hand-stitching traditional Tajik men’s hats, which are part of her business as a hat maker.

Mavluda shows me the first hat she ever made

I was amazed when Mavluda pulled out the first hat she ever made.  ...

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Apr 21, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

By Rosalind Piggot, KF10, Tajikistan

Following the recent New York Times article questioning the interest rates charged in microfinance, I looked back at recent blogs by Kiva Fellows about interest rates and sustainability. In comments on those blogs and on Kiva’s lender team sites, a lot of people were asking: “Do I want to lend via a for-profit institution?” and similar questions.

As a fellow in Tajikistan, I don’t think for-profit status undermines social mission. Why?

1.The other side of borrowing is saving...

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Apr 10, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

From my neighbors’ flat in Khujand, in northern Tajikistan, we watched images of Kyrgyzstan’s coup on Russian satellite TV. One woman was sitting in her dark shop illuminated only by flashlight, weeping. The mannequins that had once displayed her goods were now nude. In the next shot, another woman swept glass from the steps of her shop. “They smashed the windows… how will I feed my family now?… they took my things”, my neighbor translated her words.

With the Kyrgyz border just 30 minutes away by car from the city where I live, the fires and the looting on TV seemed very...

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