Oct 18, 2017 CR Costa Rica

I'm in a small town in central Costa Rica called San Cristobal Norte – or Sacrin for short – and right now it feels like I might never make it out. It’s mid-afternoon, but I am sitting in the dark and the rain outside has escalated into a monotone shriek. So much for the borrower visit I was supposed to do today, but I'm hoping all our borrowers have found shelter.   My compañeros at this Field Partner – Grupo Finca – didn't know Tropical Storm Nate would hit Costa Rica. Nobody did. Still, it swept into Sacrin in the middle of the night, where I was sleeping in the home of some of its... Continue Reading >>


Oct 12, 2017 GE Georgia

A week after I got to Georgia as a Kiva fellow in the field, I received an email from Giorgie, one of the guys I had contacted when looking for a place to stay in Tbilisi. He asked if I was interested in coming to his parents’ village to help pick grapes over the weekend. Of course I was! I knew an adventure was afoot. For context, Georgia is a former soviet republic located in the Caucasus, the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Georgia has been struggling to transistion to a market economy after the soviet break up, and you can help them by clicking here and backing... Continue Reading >>


Oct 5, 2017 PH Philippines

"We cannot survive without rice.” “Rice is the reason why we work.” “I can have a meal with just rice.” “Rice is life.” “When there is rice, there is no hunger.” These are some of the quotes I gathered when I interviewed my colleagues at Community Economic Ventures, Inc. (CEVI), a Kiva Field Partner, about what rice means to them. Rice plays a big role in the Filipino culture as well as for most other Asian countries. My dad would be the first one to agree that without rice, he is not full.

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Oct 3, 2017 CO Colombia

When you read the phrase “internally displaced persons,” what countries come to mind? I immediately think of Syria and Iraq. If pressed, I can think of a few more: South Sudan, perhaps Somalia and Pakistan. If the phrase “internally displaced persons” (IDPs) means nothing to you, you’re in good company; I learned the term myself within the last month. IDPs are people who are forced to leave their homes due to violence or natural disasters, but have not crossed their home country’s borders. I consider myself a...

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Sep 25, 2017 GH Ghana

Meeting with Kiva borrowers is a privilege that I have had the opportunity to enjoy multiple times since I have landed in Africa. Oftentimes, their stories, professional or personal, have made me forget the initial reason for my visit. Every single story has something special, and you never know what to expect until you arrive at their home, sit on a wobbly seat and start listening. Whether they are touching, inspiring, heartbreaking or promising, stories always move me deeply.   My name is Victor, a Kiva fellow based in Cape Coast, Ghana, and I wish to introduce you to Joyce - a Kiva... Continue Reading >>


Sep 20, 2017 PH Philippines

It’s no surprise that people around me don’t fully understand why I left the comfort of my job and life in the United States to go to the Philippines to become a Kiva fellow. Friends and family often ask, “What do you do, exactly, for Kiva?”

I am going to attempt to answer this question by walking you through one of the responsibilities I am asked to complete during my time here: borrower...

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Sep 15, 2017 MM Myanmar

I’m always fascinated by the borrowers around the world that Kiva Fellows highlight. A natural skeptic, I always assumed these profiles were carefully selected, the messaging massaged and refined. However, having lived in Myanmar for over a month now, working with Kiva’s partner Sont Oo Tehtwin, I can definitively claim the opposite. Every borrower I’ve met has impressed me with their unique skills and creativity.  
While I could choose any person I’ve talked to as an example, one person I want to mention is Kyi Aye, a man who has a business buying broken...
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Sep 13, 2017 KE Kenya

ECLOF Kenya introduced climate-smart agriculture loan products in the year 2015 and the program has been doing well in the regions of Eastern Kenya ever since. In order to expand its program to other dairy farmers, Kiva and ECLOF Kenya are conducting an impact evaluation of the program. During my first week on data collection for the evaluation in Embu, I was amazed by the work that is involved in farming activities and the technology that can be used to improve production. Embu is in the Eastern Region of Kenya, and below you can see a view of some of the farming areas in Embu. These... Continue Reading >>


Sep 12, 2017 TJ Tajikistan

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the new republics had varying degrees of success in adapting to the introduction of capitalism. Tajikistan struggled more than most, compounded by the fact that it suffered a five-year civil war soon after declaring independence. By 1997, a half-million people had fled the country to avoid persecution and poverty. Many ended up in Russia, and the exodus continues to this day.  Although the country is stable now, every year hundreds of thousands of Tajiks work abroad in Russia and other countries as opportunities in Tajikistan are limited. Over a... Continue Reading >>


Aug 25, 2017 CR Costa Rica

Susan Jeannette Fernandez Chavez is a 29 year-old Kiva borrower and artisan whose crafts leave a profound impact on her community. I sat down with her to discuss her journey to the arts, her passion for child development, and the importance of supporting artists.   Check out her crafts here. And yes, she ships internationally!
Susan at work in her studio.
  Me: When did you figure out that you wanted to make art?   Susan: I wanted to create something that was mine, that had my name. At the time I was... Continue Reading >>


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