Yuan

Fellows Blog Posts by Yuan

Sep 24, 2008 CM Cameroon

Anyone who has spent time in some of the more remote parts of Africa will probably shrug their shoulders at my observations. But as a first time visitor it’s hard not to feel like a bit of a celebrity, at least with the children. Wherever you go, kids stop and look. Sometimes they laugh or point and every now and then they wave and shout ‘white man!’

At first I was a little taken aback, but now it has become quite routine. Mostly I rather enjoy being the local novelty and giving a wave as I walk or ride past.

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Sep 11, 2008 CM Cameroon

One of the most inspiring things I have seen in Cameroon is the progress made by many GHAPE borrowers over the years. GHAPE is the local NGO where I am working during my time as a Kiva Fellow in West Africa. Their aim, like many of the other hundreds of microfinance organisations around the world, is to combat poverty by bringing capital to people who have none. GHAPE sow these funds with a good handful of business advice to ensure their borrowers’ ventures grow tall.

I spent my second week visiting the small town of...

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Aug 28, 2008 CM Cameroon

Squeezing people into taxis is par for the course in Cameroon. As cabs approach, you shout your destination to the driver and if you get the nod you hop in. If there are already three in the back, no matter, there’s room for one more. If there are two in the front, again, no problem: a third person can fit in – roughly positioned astraddle the gear stick (US English: stick shift).

Leaving Bamenda to make the journey to the small town of Belo, I felt a certain smugness at having bagged the front seat of the taxi. A...

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Aug 21, 2008 CM Cameroon

I am sitting in the modest headquarters of GHAPE in Bamenda, north west Cameroon.

I am surrounded by the membership books of some of the organisation’s small borrowers, detailing their loan totals and bi-monthly repayments. There is no column for defaults. When the women (it is mostly women) meet to make their regular contributions they stay in the room until the right amount of money has been collected. If someone cannot make their payment then the others have to make up the difference. But they all know each other and it’s never good to...

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