As I described in a previous blog post, EDESA (Kiva’s field partner in Costa Rica) works with a network of Community Credit Enterprises (ECCs by their Spanish acronym). To reiterate a bit, the ECCs are small, grassroots microfinance organizations formed by rural community members. FINCA Costa Rica provides extensive training in these communities to teach members how to work together to create and run a profitable business that provides financial services among other things. I recently visited one of the oldest and largest ECCs, La Asociación de Productores de El Sauce (The Association...Continue Reading >>
Athan Makansi – KF8 – Apia, Samoa
Jump on the Samoan time machine and watch as a few neighbors help prepare a delicious meal of taro, breadfruit, coconut cream, potatoes, chicken and tuna in a giant fire pit as Samoans have for many, many years. But no, Samoans don’t make s’mores.'
Talofa (Hello), from Samoa. I arrived last Friday in the glorious sunshine of Samoa, eager to start my fellowship with SPBD, Kiva’s partner in Apia, the...Continue Reading >>
By Sloane Berrent, KF8, Philippines
As a Kiva Fellow, drinking the Kiva kool-aid and eating, living, breathing Kiva day-in and day-out, my browser is full of tabs following Kiva online. I wanted to share those ways to connect with you. So you too, can friend, follow, subscribe and join away!
- Kiva Fellows – a great place to read all about the stories, experiences and reflections of the approximately 40 Kiva Fellows that are currently in the field.
- Kiva Blog – To read about happenings from Kiva HQ including new country...
By Nancy Tuller, KF8, Ghana, Africa
I have a professor and mentor from my undergraduate days whose advice and thoughts I value and respect so much. I still communicate with him regularly, and over the years, the topic of interest rates in microfinance has come up repeatedly in our conversations. This is the man from whom I first learned about community currency, an alternative exchange system used alongside national currencies. He is knowledgeable about micro and macroeconomics, as well as finance. However, our conversations about interest rates for microloans always end the...Continue Reading >>
Joel Carlman – Kisumu, Kenya – KF8
Hello from Kisumu, Kenya! After 36 hours of flying and several very sound nights of sleep, I’m writing you from the offices of Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (K-MET), our Kiva field partner! I say our because I have the privilege of working alongside my wife, Alison Carlman throughout our Kiva Fellowship. What an experience!
...Continue Reading >>
At the fellows training some of my companeros seemed shocked that I’d want to do a fellowship in one of the most expensive cities in the world. I have to admit, I admire the cost of a Terere in Paraguay compared to price of latte in NYC. Regardless, it’s been an incredible experience to participate with Kiva on the US launch.
In many ways the fellowship, the entreprenuers, even New York City itself has at times seemed enormously comparable to a fellowship in a developing country (I mean have you used the subways here!!!???). But about the cause…
Why US...Continue Reading >>
In a desperate last-minute attempt to get my name off the top of the “least-blogging fellows” list and fulfill my grandma’s request for more blogs, I’d like to share some of my favorite photos from my 10-week placement at Asociacion Arariwa in Cusco, Peru.
Arariwa is an amazing organization with an extremely dedicated group of loan officers. I was consistently impressed with loan officers’ dedication to their clients—not just putting in long hours for little pay and running risks by carrying cash, but in some cases even relocating to remote villages in order to serve clients without...Continue Reading >>
Ashley Nelsen KF 7/8 Nicaragua
The latest news from Nicaragua has unfortunately been the decision by the United Nations to cancel $62 million dollars worth to funds destined to assist in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are eight goals created by the United Nations to combat some of the developing world’s most pressing problems such as improved access to education and health. The decision to revoke the funds is a direct result of electoral fraud that occurred last fall during the mayoral elections. People were denied access to vote, votes were not counted, and many...Continue Reading >>
By Nick Cain, KF7 Paraguay
In Cochabamba, Bolivia, milk is quite literally the ticket to financial services and economic growth. Kiva lenders, meet CIDRE, your newest Field Partner in Bolivia. Last week I traveled from Asunción, Paraguay to Cochabamba, Bolivia to train CIDRE’s staff members on the Kiva platform, help them learn a little about the Kiva community, and make sure they had everything they needed in order to start connecting their borrowers to Kiva lenders....
By Sloane Berrent, KF8, Philippines
Just five days into my Kiva Fellowship, one thing I already know, this is truly an amazing experience, no two ways about it. I am learning things, going places, meeting people that never in a million years would a normal traveler experience.
It’s also quite frankly, hard. This isn’t like jaunting in my solo travels around the world, being carefree and on my own...Continue Reading >>