Stories tagged with Kiva

Feb 2, 2013 CL Chile
 
 

What does microfinance look like in a country that’s considered one of South America’s most stable and prosperous nations? (BBC)
 
That was my immediate thought when told I would be working in Santiago, Chile as a Kiva Fellow. Understanding how small loans and accessible financial resources factor into Chile’s economic environment will be my task for the next four months. 
 
Chile may have one of Latin America’s fastest growing economies, but just 40 years ago, it was home to one of Latin America... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 TL Timor-Leste

I arrived in Timor-Leste about a week ago to begin a Kiva Fellowship, and you might be wondering where the heck that is. So I'll try to fill you in on some background while I ease into the place.

I like maps. Here's one of the world:

Timor Is Way Out There (Unless You Live in Australia)
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Feb 2, 2013 TJ Tajikistan
What? Where? Tajikistan is the poorest of the former Soviet states. It shares borders with Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.


Let’s just say that my first 24 hours in Tajikistan were nothing short of a nightmare. After navigating my way through an airport that would have to take out first prize as the worst in the world, I was in for an initiation like no other. I was caught in a car blockade, amidst a drug bust, and surrounded by black leather clad men clutching AK47s. My visa... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 EC Ecuador

 

Ivonne prepping reports from home.

One of the little known facts about micro finance is that it is heavily dependent upon information technology.  Even though loan sizes are small the amount of transactions necessary to properly account for all of the transactions can, in the aggregate, easily exceed a million transactions a year for a given institution.  Recently I had the opportunity to work with Ivonne Balsecca. 


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Feb 2, 2013 KE Kenya
One of the best parts of being a Kiva Fellow is sampling the local cuisine. I have been in Kenya for three weeks and many things have impressed me. From the vibrant people, to the bright dresses, to the breathtaking scenery, this country has surpassed my expectations. But the food has been the most unexpected and pleasant surprise. Here is a glimpse into some of my favorites and the favorites of Kenyans alike.

Last week, a few local students came over to my apartment to share in the joy of cooking their favorite Kenyan dishes. While I tried my best to help, it was clear early in... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 KH Cambodia

Ever since I found out I was accepted to the Kiva Fellows program, I've felt very fortunate. Fortunate to volunteer with an organization that does incredible work in the mission to alleviate poverty. Fortunate to be based in Hanoi, Vietnam, one of my top choices for country placement. Fortunate to spend three weeks in Cambodia (prior to Vietnam) in order to interview actual borrowers and hear about the...

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Feb 2, 2013 UG Uganda
Every Kiva fellow gets excited about going out into the field. It’s usually the main reason you apply to be a fellow in the first place. To meet our borrowers, see their work, and hear their stories is an experience that is difficult to put into words. As the current Kiva Fellow in Uganda, I had my first opportunity to visit our Kiva borrowers with Grameen Foundation this week.  
 
These borrowers are part of Grameen’s CKW (Community Knowledge Worker) program which centers around peer-nominated small-holder farmers (CKWs) equipped with...
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Feb 2, 2013 AZ Azerbaijan
Dimitri Zakharov | KF20 | Azerbaijan

It’s been 2 weeks since my arrival in Azerbaijan for my Kiva Fellowship and every day I grow more confused. 
 
Serving in Azerbaijan is a very different experience from the typical Kiva Fellow placement.  The scenes here of the capital, Baku, aren’t the stereotypical poverty we envision in Africa or south Asia.  By World Bank figures, Azerbaijan is wealthier than more than 54% of the world’s countries; amongst Kiva’s portfolio countries (which include the U.S., Israel, and Mexico... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 RW Rwanda
Kigali is in the mountains.  Way up in the mountains. As high as Denver, Colorado even.  But without any of the flat plains - except for the slim valleys snaking between the hills where there aren’t any houses presumably because of the looming threat of flooding.
 
Car engines roar as they try to make it up some of the hills. Only the most skilled manual transmission drivers can make it 50 Kigali-miles without stalling out.  Even automatic transmission cars tend to stall on hills like these.  At first, I wondered to myself why this... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 RW Rwanda



On the plane to Kigali for my Kiva Fellowship at Urwego Opportunity International, I realise that my knowledge of Rwanda, the country of a thousand hills, is limited to the famous mountain gorillas and the tragic history of genocide in 1994.



I have little idea of what the people and the country will be like. Wary of the fact that everyone over 19 years old must have a significant story, I approach the city and its people with cautious optimism. I should not have been worried. Everywhere I go, gracious, smiling and incredibly polite people...

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