Dec 9, 2007 TZ Tanzania

Learning more about Tanzanian culture has been a fascinating journey thus far. Like most things in life, the more I learn, the more I discover how little I know. As my relationships slowly deepen with my colleagues at Tujijenge Tanzania and with other new friends, I’m beginning to gradually pick up more insights into their culture– their high values of community and unity, and how everything seems to happen according to the belief “if God wills” –a phrase used frequently in everyday interactions (and especially to explain  the common occurrence of when things don’t happen...

Continue Reading >>

Dec 5, 2007 KH Cambodia

So…with our MFI (Maxima), we visit a lot of people who make a living by weaving cloth.  With extant samples of hand-woven cloth dating from 5000 BC, weaving must be one of the world’s oldest ways to make money. 


More than two hundred years ago, the Industrial Revolution introduced processes that, to this day, have passed by the villages and the people we visit.  The looms that Maxima’s clients use are hand-made and the technology has not changed for many decades if not longer.  


... Continue Reading >>

Dec 4, 2007 EC Ecuador

Greetings from Ecuador! My name is Elizabeth Li and I am here as a Kiva Fellow working with MFI Mifex. Hard to believe I’ve been here for 2months already with just over 2weeks to go. Due to access difficulties I have not been able to blog until recently. Reading all the other blogs here I’m reminded of one thread that ties us fellows together despite being in distinctly different cultures across the world: living abroad in the developing world is a true challenge!

Mifex operates out of two offices located in the marginalized urban sectors of Guayaquil. Millions of...

Continue Reading >>

Dec 3, 2007 UG Uganda

I first met Rose Kasoma at the office of Share an Opportunity (SAO) Microfinance, Ltd in Kampala, Uganda where she came to pay the monthly installment on her $1,200 loan funded by Kiva lenders.  We talked briefly and I asked permission to visit her. 

On November 30, 2007, accompanied by Stuart Tamale, a young college educated Ugandan loan officer working for SAO, we went to Rose’s store. 

The store is well located in the Ugandan version of a strip...

Continue Reading >>

Dec 3, 2007 KE Kenya

Since arriving in Kenya I have been yearning to meet Kiva clients, to see the effects of Kiva and microfinance with my own eyes. Over the years I have read many books and articles about microfinance, but nothing can take the place of seeing the smiles on the clients’ faces as they watch customers file in and out of their shops – often as a direct result of their Kiva loan. I not only saw clients who had been given the opportunity to increase their incomes, I saw people with a newfound sense of pride, accomplishment, and confidence. I can now...

Continue Reading >>

Dec 3, 2007 UG Uganda

After being in Uganda for a few months and journaling for Kiva, September seems like years ago.  Everything was so unfamiliar and I felt like the world I entered was insane.  Yet, now I am used to the traffic, the city, the wonderful people, and the smells. J 

My experience with Life In Africa has been truly eye-opening to the plight of those living in an IDP camp and those trying survive in the city.  Each person I journal about has a unique challenge they are dealing with, or dealt with, along...

Continue Reading >>

Dec 1, 2007 UG Uganda

David Groves is a hero.  I will probably never meet him, but if I do, I will shake his hand and thank him for boarding an airplane in Australia bound for Kampala, Uganda in 1991, armed with nothing more than the name of the author of an article published in the Baptist Union General Society Newsletter about the terrible plight of Ugandan war orphans following years of civil strife.

Mr. Groves ultimately located that author, Pastor John Ekudu,...

Continue Reading >>

Nov 29, 2007 PE Peru

Hello!  Over the past month I have been experimenting with the video feature on my camera to add to the depth of the journals.  If you’re interested in watching any of these videos (be warned, the quality is not the best!), you can go to and search for Kiva Peru.  I believe at the moment there are twelve of them, and I will be adding more in the next few weeks!  Each video has an accompanying journal on Kiva’s Journal page, or you can search by the entrepreneur’s name on the Lend page.  Enjoy!

/> Continue Reading >>

Nov 26, 2007 KE Kenya

I’ve been in Kenya for a couple of weeks now and have seen such diversity in not only the people, plants, and animals but also in standard of living, quality of life, and income levels. Like anywhere in the world some people live expensive, lavish lifestyles while others work hard with little to show for it at the end of the day. In Kenya, the latter is definitely the most prominent. But last week as a Kiva Fellow at Action Now: Kenya(ANK) in Nairobi, I saw the beauty and success of microfinance that I had hoped for but was skeptical about as I...

Continue Reading >>

Nov 26, 2007 UG Uganda

My name is Drew Kinder.  I am a Kiva Fellow from Buffalo, NY assigned to Share an Opportunity (SAO), a Micro-Finance Institution (MFI) headquartered in Kampala, Uganda.

Although my future postings will be about the borrowers I meet in Uganda, this first blog answers the question of how I ended up in Uganda volunteering for three months as a Kiva Fellow.

I discovered Kiva in March 2007 after reading a column in the New York Times written by Nicholas...

Continue Reading >>