May 26, 2016 GO Global Update

The Kiva NYC Team went to Bed-Stuy Brooklyn to visit Abuela’s Tattoo and got inked for their Friday the 13th Sale!   Mandi and Sam took out a loan for Myrtle Tattoo Ink Parlor (renamed: Abuela’s Tattoo) at the beginning of last year. Soon after, they secured a space to provide local artists with supplies and a clean working environment. Though they were busy, we had a chance to learn more about their busy year of change, growth and success. Q: Since you applied for your Kiva loan, you've changed your shop name to...
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May 11, 2016 CO Colombia

After visiting over 20 Kiva borrowers throughout Colombia, I have met many different people – young, experienced, women, men, city-dwellers, rural farmers, and so on. Although each one of my visits has been unique, one thing remains constant: every borrower I have met has been impressively entrepreneurial and tenacious. I leave every visit feeling inspired and humbled not only by what the borrowers have achieved and overcome, but also by their motivations for becoming entrepreneurs. Below are three of many remarkable Colombian entrepreneurs who work with Interactuar, a Kiva Partner in...

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May 11, 2016 MZ Mozambique

You probably know more Mozambican Portuguese than you realize… After first landing in Maputo three months ago, my jet-lagged brain strained to understand the small talk with my taxi driver. He excused himself as he answered his phone and said “Estou busy no meu job, brother.” Baffled, I realized I understood what he was saying not because of my Brazilian-Portuguese background, but because of my native language, English! I knew I would have to adjust my Portuguese accent, but wasn’t expecting to have to adjust my English accent in order to communicate in Mozambique...

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May 4, 2016 US United States

Eric Jarvis’ story doesn't start and surely won't end with Kiva.

 

I guess the first thing I can say about Eric before getting into this whole thing is that he is one of the most inspiring and hard working people I've had the privilege of meeting.  I first spoke to Eric Jarvis on the phone...

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May 3, 2016 RW Rwanda

Xaverine is the answer you will most likely get in Nyamasheke, a remote village in west Rwanda.
Xaverine and her knitting machine
The mother of eight taught herself how to use the knitting machine four years ago in the hopes of bringing in additional income to her large family. She has now secured contracts with local schools to knit the blue and white striped sweaters for all the village kids. Not only does Xaverine support her own family, she wants her business to help the community as well. She has already taken... Continue Reading >>


Apr 22, 2016 RW Rwanda

There is a wide array of tasks a fellow can be assigned during one's time in the field. One task I have found most meaningful is "Borrower Verifications," more affectionately known as BVs at Kiva. Most fellows traded in corporate offices/cubes to serve with Kiva; seeing BV on your work plan is a guaranteed change in scenery (literally) from office cubical walls to the beauty of being in the field.  I want to share “A day in the life” of my life as a Kiva Fellow with you during a BV in photos. As context, BV is a randomly generated list of 10 borrowers from a particular Kiva partner that... Continue Reading >>


Apr 19, 2016 RW Rwanda

As I bid a bittersweet farewell to new friends and my Rwandan home, I reflect on a truly remarkable six months and my top 5 wins as a Kiva Fellow: 1. Navigating Kigali like a pro. The streets of a new city can be very confusing, especially to a directionally challenged person such as me. Compared to the well-organized grid system of NYC where I lived before, Kigali streets spool around roundabouts and curve with the thousand hills, making it look more like an abstract art piece from above. For a Kiva Fellow trying to live on a budget, and as the locals do,... Continue Reading >>


Apr 12, 2016 SN Senegal

Imagine for a moment that you live in a village with no electricity.  When the sun goes down each evening, you rely on the light of fires or flashlights as you cook your evening meal. Your children must study before the sun goes down, or else use the dimly glowing light of a cell phone to illuminate their work. And speaking of cell phones, the only way to charge yours is to travel to a charging station in the nearest town, pay a fee, and wait while your battery replenishes.   Now imagine that you are suddenly offered an affordable, safe, comprehensive way...
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Apr 12, 2016 RW Rwanda

Olive is only 24 years old but has already seen her business grow from strength to strength. What is the secret to her success? Eggs!
Olive showing off her stock
Three years ago, only 21 at the time, Olive started selling rice and vegetables at the market. Two years later she had managed to save up enough profits and take out a Kiva loan to set up her own wholesale business selling eggs. Eggs are a staple food in Rwanda – high in nutrition, easy to cook and quick to eat – a clear winner in the eyes of the locals.... Continue Reading >>


Apr 11, 2016 GO Global Update, UG Uganda

In my first 2 months in Uganda, I’ve met some incredible borrowers. I’m preparing to highlight these inspiring stories shortly. But before I do that, I have a tangent story. This might be a little unusual but… Agnes, my feature profile for this blog post, is not a borrower. She is a mother, sister, student, and a bad-ass woman. And the Branch Manager of the Masindi branch of Hofokam (the partner organization that I am volunteering with in Uganda as a Kiva Fellow). I heard about Agnes from everyone before I visited Masindi, a district northwestern part of Uganda: “Oh you’ll have so much fun... Continue Reading >>


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