Sheryl Onopchenko

Sheryl is thrilled to be participating in Kiva’s fellowship program and expects it to be a highlight of a year long learning sabbatical. After earning her Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics, Sheryl spent several years as an economic consultant, and twelve more as an investment advisor to individuals and businesses. In 2006, she built a practice, which eventually funded over $200 Million of private investment projects. Through her fieldwork, Sheryl looks forward to enhancing her ability to evaluate impact investments. Crossing gorilla tracking or climbing Kilamanjaro off the bucket list will be a major bonus.

Fellows Blog Posts by Sheryl Onopchenko

May 11, 2015 UG Uganda

 Meet Jane, a young mother whom I recently hired as a porter in Southwestern Uganda.  The duties of a porter in Bwindi’s Impenetrable Forest are not unlike those of a Sherpa in the Himalayas, except instead of climbing mountains, they are tracking jungle animals.   Jane and I had a long and arduous day ahead as we set out with a team to pursue a family of Mountain Gorillas.  The goal was to find the gorilla family in its natural environment, purely for the joy and privilege of being in their midst.
Jane....
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Apr 12, 2015 UG Uganda

In order to visit Collins and his hardware supply business, we had to travel one of Uganda’s famously poor roads, suitable for travel only by SUV.  Most don’t have that luxury and neither did we.  The dirt road stretched for twenty never ending kilometers of potholes, trenches and dust clouds that left silt on our shirts though the car’s open window in the searing heat.   Collin’s loan officer, Faith, had warned me it would be a journey, and as we...

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Mar 31, 2015 UG Uganda

When I use the word “microfinance,” or talk about Kiva, people tend to picture entrepreneurs in far off destinations, using small loans to invest in their businesses.  And while it may be true that cash lent for seeds, goats or rickshaw repairs in less developed countries is the essence of microloans, there’s more.  Dollars lent drive social and environmental change, too.
Dorothy, a microloan recipient, is a seamstress in Uganda. She specializes in making school uniforms for the community.
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Mar 12, 2015 UG Uganda

I traveled north, away from Kampala, towards a small town called Luwero.   After the wall to wall congestion of the city, it was a relief to finally have an open stretch of road with green trees and grassy fields to either side.   I was looking forward to meeting Haruna, a man who had borrowed from BRAC Uganda in the fall of 2014 to revive his sagging poultry business.    Six months later, my task was to see how Haruna and his chickens were faring.
Haruna and his chicken house
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