Imagine a world without Walgreens, Macy’s, Banana Republic, Nordstrom’s, Blockbuster, Ethan Allen, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Safeway or Whole Foods. Instead of driving to your favorite mall or grocery store to buy clothes, food or supplies from a salesperson working for a corporation, you walk down the dirt road to your local market to buy goods from a neighbor, friend or acquaintance. Instead of one-stop shopping, you stop at several different stores to pick up all the supplies you need, relishing each transaction by engaging in conversation and slowly passing over the bills and...Continue Reading >>
La Paz, Bolivia
Its been a dynamic 2 days, filled with meetings, client visits, presentations and lots of delicious mate de coca. Heres the update:
I sleep past my alarm and awake to the sounds of husting taxis sounding their horns outside my hotel window. Jumping up I throw on my dress suit and snag a cab downtown. Destination: FADES’ headquarter office. The largest MFI in Bolivia, FADES serves over 21,000 rural borrowers through individual lending at 84...Continue Reading >>
My name is Anne Sophie Breuning and i am a Kiva Fellow in Ghana. I have now been in Accra, Ghana for almost 72 hours and my jetlag is slowly wearing off. The air is hot and humid; the streets are crazy with no sidewalks, open sewers, a million honking cars, and street peddlers hawking everything from plastic spoons to Ghanaian soccer shirts. We are staying in the Osu district in the center of Accra at theMotel4.com – not to be confused with having any connection the internet since the hotel has no internet connection or website. Most places here are named God is Great, God is King and...Continue Reading >>
I’ve been hanging out with the Prisma staff for almost three weeks now. The moment I stepped off the plane, they made me feel right at home. They’ve been eager to take me out in the field to meet borrowers, and educate me on the intricacies of microfinance in Honduras. It’s hard to believe it’s only been three weeks.
I am based out of the main office in the Loma Linda Sur neighborhood of Tegucigalpa. However, Kiva clients are spread throughout Prisma’s five offices so I am traveling between all of them. In addition to Loma Linda Sur, there’s the Pedregal office which services...Continue Reading >>
Michelle from the Kiva Partnerships Team here, representing South America and the Kiva staff;) I’ve so enjoyed reading all of the fellows posts, and am excited to now add my own stories to the mix!!
I’ll be traveling on behalf of Kiva for the next 3 weeks through Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay, with a brief (9 hour, but yep already have a meeting lined up!) stop in Argentina. I’ll be meeting with new and potential partners about Kiva, and will also be visiting two of our superstar MFIs that are already on the platform, IMPRO and Fundacion Paraguaya...Continue Reading >>
When you enter a YOSEFO community bank you are sure to encounter business owners facing every stage of the business life cycle. Some entrepreneurs are just getting their ventures off the ground and are using their loan money to purchase their first sewing machine, food stuffs or rent a salon space. Other businesses are flourishing, sales are growing and customers are becoming more regular. A few businesses are on the decline; higher prices for goods or a new industry regulation could be making it hard to maintain profits. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet the...Continue Reading >>
From left to right: Stephen (me), Mariah, Martha, and Martin (June 11, 2007)
Today is my first day at the office of Women Economic Empowerment Consort (WEEC), residing in Kajiado district, just outside of Nairobi district, Kenya. ...Continue Reading >>
Yesterday was my first day of field work – meeting entrepreneurs who have gotten loans from Kiva lenders and capturing their stories and lives to be written about in journals that are then posted on the Kiva site. The following is an account of the day’s happenings. Disclaimer: It was an eventful day so this will definitely be a long entry; feel free to skim.
I arrived at Ebony’s office around 9:30 in the morning. Jane made some brief preparations to leave and then we were off. Jane was a loan officer for Ebony and worked here out of the main...Continue Reading >>
A good friend of mine at college who is currently spending the summer in Cairo emailed me a comment in response my post about Mariah Carey being everywhere that I thought was really insightful and well-said and deserved to be shared:
“I really have to agree with you about how ridiculously pervasive American sh*t is everywhere—-even in the Middle East, which is supposedly the most anti-American place ever, basically every bilboard is about some American company…I just went to Alexandria and there was this one block where there was a McDonalds, Pizza Hut, LIttle Ceaser’s, KFC and...Continue Reading >>
I start going out in to the field to meet entrepreneurs tomorrow, so I promise to have more Kiva-related info on here soon. In the meantime, here’s some more about the touristy aspects of my time here…
I still don’t have my luggage. It seems that a lot of people had their bags lost on British Airways because their Nairobi airport lost bags telephone # is always busy or no one picks up. It’s a bit frustrating to be honest. I had to go buy some clothes from a store called Wool Matt, which I’m pretty sure is a thinly veiled imitation of Wal Mart. You can buy anything you need...Continue Reading >>