Stories tagged with Kenya

Oct 10, 2014 KE Kenya

One of the best parts of the Kiva Fellowship is the anticipation while awaiting the location of your placement, which could be nearly anywhere Kiva loans are available. Wouldn’t it be great to stroll by the Taj Mahal on the way to work, gallop on horseback through the plains of Mongolia, or take in a sunset on a Samoan beach?


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Oct 10, 2014 GO Global Update, KE Kenya


Resourcefulness is perhaps the most essential trait for any entrepreneur.  In Nairobi’s Kibera district, the largest slum in Africa, that trait is apparent everywhere you look.  In an environment where most residents earn no more than $2/day, resourcefulness is the means for survival, and entrepreneurship a vessel for hope. 

Traveling around Nairobi, and Kibera in particular, evidence of this “scrappiness” permeates the sights.  Security spikes made of broken shards of glass line the walls of housing compounds.  Houses are quickly erected... Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2014 KE Kenya
“What if I told you that we provide 0% interest loans for you to grow your business?” was usually the most controversial question during my speaking engagements.
 
“What’s the catch?” usually followed up my statement. “There is no catch, we are just trying to really outreach to entrepreneurs that need small loans and don’t have access to credit, we trust you will appreciate this loan and repay it back”. Silence filled the room while I continued to explain…
 
Sounds too good to be true? Well is it too good and it is also true… Kiva Zip is really... Continue Reading >>
Sep 9, 2014 GO Global Update

I have been in Kenya for almost 4 months now for my fellowship. Some of my time was spent in Nairobi, and some in western and rural parts of the country. Getting around by motorbike (“piki piki” or “boda boda”) is a way of life in Kenya. But I’ve never seen a female driver. Granted, it’s not an everyday occurrence in the western world either, but motorcycles in general are also not nearly so common.

Arriving in Kisumu, I thought I’d give it a try. After moving into my apartment I stepped outside to head for a grocery store. I saw a man with a kind face starting up his boda... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2014 KE Kenya
Check out Kiva's most recent Exposure post, featuring inspiring stories of borrowers doing everything from sheltering orphans to creating a safe space for HIV-positive people:

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Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
Village view from a matatu

As I approach the matatu stage I feel a bout of irritation.  Completely empty.  I am the first passenger to arrive, which undoubtedly means waiting for an indefinite amount of time until it is full and ready to head out.  I quickly text the Kiva borrower I am to visit to tell her I may be late.  Having been in this situation many times before, she messages me back with an understanding, “Don’t worry, you still come!”  I get in, pick the best seat, buy a few... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya

On a recent trip out of Nairobi, we arrived in Eldama Ravine, a small town of around 15,000 people in Kenya's Rift Valley Province.  On our arrival we were greeted by Benson, the local loan officer for SMEP Microfinance Bank, who proudly walked us down Eldama Ravine's main street, into a building containing a general store and an education center, and up two flights of stairs to a small office overlooking the busy local... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 GO Global Update

Traditionally Kenyan women have not been in the business of beekeeping. Beehives were historically kept very high in trees requiring the beekeeper to undertake a somewhat dangerous climb in order to service or retrieve the hive. Culturally, this was not considered an activity fit for Kenyan women. Now, with modern beekeeping techniques and tools, colonized hives can be managed from the ground.

For the first half of my Kiva fellowship I was placed with Honey Care Africa, an organization that gives Kiva loans to farmers for beehives and apiary materials. I attended a Honey... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
While working on Kiva Zip operations in Kenya, I engage with Trustees (the volunteer backbone of the Kiva Zip model) every day, hearing their stories, experiences, issues, and very often-getting humble invitations to visit their borrowers. These visits are one of my favorite parts of my fellowship. This is when I get to see the impact of the Kiva Zip model on the ground.

CentralBusinessDistrict


Recently, I got to visit Kone Mory who is from Côte d’Ivoire, a country in west Africa. Kone is a... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
Last week I travelled to Nakuru, a town to the northwest of Nairobi in Kenya's Rift Valley Province, about three hours away by matatu.  Matatus are the predominant mode of transport in Kenya and while they lack a few comforts - leg room, air conditioning, suspension, and any limit on the number of people that will attempt to fit inside one simultaneously - they have the benefits of being cheap, efficient and reliable, and handle Kenya's potholed roads reasonably well.  
Jackline and her clothing business in...
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