Aug 8, 2017 CO Colombia

Drive about 1.5 hours east of the up-and-coming metropolis of Medellín, and you’ll find yourself on tranquil mountain roads in Cocorná, dotted with family farms and handmade houses. Keep your eyes peeled, because Tienda de Paz San Jose doesn’t look like much at first glance. It’s a one-story brick building perched on a hill, seemingly indistinguishable from countless other roadside pit stops in the area. However, inside this unremarkable structure lives the beating heart of a community that has been displaced from their homes by violence three times. Their reaction? To invest in themselves... Continue Reading >>


Aug 1, 2017 CR Costa Rica

I have been in Costa Rica for two weeks and so far I’ve been to a wedding, a baptism, and a birthday party.

Taiwan may be the newly crowned World’s Friendliest Country, but I’d say that Costa Rica gives it some heavy competition.

I had heard something of Tico hospitality before arriving, but I had brushed it off as one of those things that every culture lays...

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Aug 1, 2017 EG Egypt

I had the privilege of being Kiva’s first fellow to work with Together Association for Development and Environment (TADE), our only partner in Egypt. TADE is based in the Minya governate, known locally as the “Bride of Upper Egypt.” 

Minya's Nile corniche, the longest in all of Egypt
Before arriving, all I knew about Minya came from headlines of vicious extremist attacks targeting Christian communities. I was relieved to find an oasis of harmony, where the community ties... Continue Reading >>


Jun 6, 2017 SN Senegal

MEC Aprovag team
Tambacounda, Senegal. Never heard of that place? No worries, I hadn’t either until Kiva sent me to welcome our latest addition in the family, review their operations and help them launch their first agriculture loans on Kiva. The last 5 weeks were such an inspiring adventure, with an amazing team. And so please join me in welcoming MEC Aprovag as a new Kiva field partner in Senegal!
400 kilometres from Dakar, it takes a ‘mere...
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Jun 6, 2017 LB Lebanon

Visiting Borrowers in Biet Ed-Deen, Lebanon When I told my friends and family that I was leaving my job in Washington D.C. to move to Lebanon as a Kiva Fellow, I got the same reaction from everyone: is it safe? Isn’t that near Syria? What's there?  Very few Americans know about Lebanon, and even those who do only know it through the lens of the media: images of war-torn buildings and a refugee crisis too big to handle. So, I will do my best to shed light on my experiences here in hopes that I can tell a story about Lebanon that isn’t told often enough, one of abundant hospitality... Continue Reading >>


May 17, 2017 TZ Tanzania

Today, we are heading off to Morogoro, name given to both the town and its larger district. In fact, our journey ends in a rustic village called Kisemu. Located an eight-hour drive away from Dar-es-salaam, the main economic city that concentrates 90% of Tanzania's wealth, our destination has fair chances to be contrastingly remote and poor.   Once we arrive there, not without trouble as the rainy season reaches its peak, we enjoy a delicious meal, a soup made with locally bred chicken, then have a long night sleep to have us ready for the next day: we will have some young women to... Continue Reading >>


Apr 26, 2017 MG Madagascar

Of Youth, Entrepreneurship and Resilience in Madagascar
 
 
Tsilaviniaina in front of his gargote
'After a few weeks, I knew I would never see my stock ever again. I resigned myself to ask for help. So, I went to see my father’s family to ask for a small lump sum to help me to go back into business. They don't have much either, but in front of my despair, everyone put something in the kitty and we... Continue Reading >>


Apr 25, 2017 GO Global Update

Of Youth, Entrepreneurship and Resilience in Madagascar.
 
  This is a story of one of Kiva’s borrowers, a slice of life in Antananarivo, or Tana as locals call it. Above all, this is a story, or rather a lesson, for all of us, of resilience and determination. This is the journey of Tsilaviniaina, a 21-year-old young man who I met during a field trip with CEFOR, Kiva’s field partner in Tana. Tsilaviniaina's story is the story of many of his age, of too many of them in fact. Hope, grief, joy, responsibilities,... Continue Reading >>


Apr 18, 2017 GT Guatemala

Known to be not only be one of Central America’s most exciting places to celebrate the Easter holidays, but also one of the world’s, Guatemala is home to some of the most elaborate celebrations leading up to Easter Sunday to commemorate the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. Historically used as a way to explain the story of Jesus, Semana Santa traditions in Guatemala combine the Holy Week processions of Spanish Catholics from the 1500s with an ancient Mayan tradition of creating intricate alfombras (carpets) for kings to walk upon. Naturally, serving as a Kiva... Continue Reading >>


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