Max Schoening

My name is Max Schoening, and I’ll be a Kiva Fellow in Malaba, western Kenya for the next six weeks. I’m part of a team of six students from Brown University that will be posting updates onto Kiva.org, as well as making a short movie about Kiva to show at the Clinton Global Initiative Summit this fall. Along with being Kiva Fellows, we are also the Brown chapter of a national organization called Students of the World. Students of the World (www.studentsoftheworld.org) is an organization with a mission to send college students to developing countries in order to document creative solutions to problems affecting the developing world. After extensive research this year, we chose Kiva because of its innovative approach to micro-finance that addresses a lack of capital that microfinance institutions have to work with. Three of the students will be volunteering with KMET, located in Kisumu, a small city off of Lake Victoria. The rest of us are working with Peoples Micro-credit & Investment Bureau (PEMCI), a small but rapidly growing micro-credit institution servicing previously ignored communities in the Teso District.

Fellows Blog Posts by Max Schoening

Jul 2, 2007 KE Kenya

The other day I got to witness the excitement felt at PEMCI when a loan is filled on the Kiva web site. One of the loan officers had put a great deal of effort into writing a descriptive profile for Fred Wafula Lubisia, who sought a loan to purchase a motorbike.  The loan was for 1,200 USD, which is a significant loan relative to what PEMCI usually offers. The next day, I was browsing Kiva.org, and saw that the entire loan had been filled, thanks to the collective contribution of 10 lenders. I let the loan officer know, and he was initially...

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Jun 30, 2007 KE Kenya

Before arriving in Malaba as a Kiva fellow, one of the assumptions I had about the businesses is that they would be entirely profit driven. Considering the economic situation that most of the clients here are living in, I could only imagine that people’s efforts would be entirely focused on making enough money to support their own family. I have met a few people who have shattered this misconception.

One of those people is Mark Ochubi, who has provided herbal medicine to over 500 clients in Malaba for the past three years. Mark trained at the School for Alternative Medicine in...

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Jun 5, 2007 KE Kenya

My name is Max Schoening, and I’ll be a Kiva Fellow in Malaba, western Kenya for the next six weeks. I’m part of a team of six students from Brown University that will be posting updates onto Kiva.org, as well as making a short movie about Kiva to show at the Clinton Global Initiative Summit this fall. Along with being Kiva Fellows, we are also the Brown chapter of a national organization called Students of the World. Students of the World (www.studentsoftheworld.org) is an organization with a mission to send college students to developing countries in order to document creative...

Continue Reading >>