Jun 23, 2015 UA Ukraine

United?.....No. My one-on-one interactions with people across the country, has borne out what some reports on Ukraine state. There are strong and divergent sentiments among different regions and communities. A simplistic analysis may state that the Ukrainians are mainly divided along linguistic or geographical lines – this is not the case on the ground.
                                                  
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Jun 22, 2015 UA Ukraine

Imagine you were told that from next month onwards, your utility prices - water, electricity and gas - would go up. Imagine also, that you live in a country where the temperatures during winter months drop to sub-zero, and gas for heating is a critical necessity. Further, do imagine that the stated price increase for gas will be between 500 – 700%, with the promise that it will go up even beyond these levels in future. How would you cope? Ukrainians don’t have to imagine such a scenario, they will have to live with it. Gas from Ukraine’s eastern neighbour has been described as a drug that... Continue Reading >>


Jun 21, 2015 ML Mali

Imagine you’re a Malian farmer. Once a year you plant your corn, your sorghum, your peanuts, your millet. You pray for solid rainfall and a large enough harvest to feed your family for the year. Once you harvest your crops and sell what you can, you fret about how you’ll manage your money over the next several months, when your income is sporadic and unreliable. Since you live in a rural area, very far from the nearest paved road, storing your money in a bank isn’t really an option. And of course you support your family and friends when they get sick or encounter some other financial burden.... Continue Reading >>


Jun 18, 2015 PH Philippines

Greetings from Cabanatuan City, nicknamed the “Tricycle Capital of the Philippines.” Tricycles, made by affixing a sidecar to a motorcycle, are a common means of public transportation in the Philippines. More than 30,000 tricycles for a population of 272,676 people (as of 2010) in Cabanatuan means that there is 1 tricycle for every 9 people in this largest city in the province of Nueva Ecija.
This is a tricycle, a common means of public transportation in the Philippines.
After attending Kiva Fellows Training at the... Continue Reading >>


Jun 10, 2015 ML Mali

The office of RMCR, the Kiva Partner in Mali where I’m serving as a fellow, is about 2 km away from my home. I’ve made it a habit to walk these 2 km. It should never take more than 20-25 minutes. Yet, usually it takes me 45 minutes to 1 hour to get there. And here’s why I love it.   There are some things about living in Mali that can be uncomfortable and stressful. There is a rebellion going on in the north, and occasionally they will provoke things in Bamako, the capital, as well.  But as soon as you’re out in the street, talking to the many friendly people that you undoubtedly... Continue Reading >>


Jun 3, 2015 IN India

Let me introduce you to Runu. Runu is a wife, a mother of five, a business owner and a client of Mahashakti Foundation, one of Kiva’s Field Partners in India. Runu has been a client of Mahashakti for a long time. She started with a small loan of just INR 10,000 ($160) which she used to buy a sewing machine to start a tailoring business. After repaying her first loan, she applied for a second, larger loan to finance a business for her husband, who is a welder. They used the money to open up a welding shop.
Runu with the sewing...
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Jun 1, 2015

My main purpose as a Kiva Fellow in Yangon, Myanmar is to work with Proximity Designs, an award winning social enterprise and Kiva’s first partner in the country, as well as meet with many of their borrowers out in the field.  A pleasant by-product of the Fellowship is the ability to experience local culture, namely the cuisine!  Food can be a large part of any culture, but its importance is very apparent here.  The Burmese people take their meals seriously, which are served and eaten family style.  I also...

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May 31, 2015 LA Laos

The first TerraClear sales event of the day starts early so the director and I are on the road at 6:30 AM this Tuesday morning. The goal is to get to the sales event an hour early to help the sales team set up. The sales team arrives even earlier to go door to door and personally invite the village residents to join the clean water discussion taking place later.  The official village leader, or headman, is the point of contact for the whole village. The sales team generally contacts him the night before an event to ask about the clean water status of the village. If TerraClear water... Continue Reading >>


May 29, 2015 KE Kenya

Meeting borrowers may be the best part of being a Kiva Fellow. It's an incredibly enriching experience where we get to learn about the borrowers' lives; they all have businesses, homes, families, hopes, and dreams. Each of the dozens of farmers I met in Kenya had their own unique stories and here are a few of my favorites.
Benedate wants to help her neighbors improve their farms
Benedate is an entrepreneurial farmer with a variety of income streams to support her six children including maize, beans, sweet potatoes,... Continue Reading >>


May 26, 2015 CR Costa Rica

Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a lender to meet a borrower? Or a corporate partner to meet a field partner? I had the honor and privilege of being part of Kiva’s first-ever corporate trip to the field – Hewlett-Packard’s Matter to a Million Field Correspondent Trip. This was a three-day event consisting of visits to corporate partner HP’s Costa Rica office, to field partner Fundación Mujer’s office, and to borrowers’ homes. Throughout this trip, representatives from HP, Kiva, Fundación Mujer, and borrowers were all together - visiting, laughing, sharing stories, and...
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