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Mom, The Micro-Financier


Ivonne prepping reports from home.

One of the little known facts about micro finance is that it is heavily dependent upon information technology.  Even though loan sizes are small the amount of transactions necessary to properly account for all of the transactions can, in the aggregate, easily exceed a million transactions a year for a given institution.  Recently I had the opportunity to work with Ivonne Balsecca. 

The (not so famous) Foods of Kenya

One of the best parts of being a Kiva Fellow is sampling the local cuisine. I have been in Kenya for three weeks and many things have impressed me. From the vibrant people, to the bright dresses, to the breathtaking scenery, this country has surpassed my expectations.

Cambodia: A Nation says Goodbye to its Former King

Kiva Fellow Field Visit: A Day in the Life

Azerbaijan: Looking Beyond the Headlines

It’s been 2 weeks since my arrival in Azerbaijan for my Kiva Fellowship and every day I grow more confused. 
Serving in Azerbaijan is a very different experience from the typical Kiva Fellow placement.  The scenes here of the capital, Baku, aren’t the stereotypical poverty we envision in Africa or south Asia.  By World Bank figures, Azerbaijan is wealthier than more than 54% of the world’s countries; amongst Kiva’s portfolio countries (which include the U.S., Israel, and Mexico) it ranks 8th by GDP PPP per capita.
The reason Azerbaijan has gained extraordinary wealth is due to its production of oil.  The black gold they dig up accounts for 94% of the country’s export revenues.  Between 2006 and 2008, it had the world’s fastest growing economy.  To put that money to use, government spending increased by 30% in 2011.

Real World Nairobi

Local Winemaking in Imphal

Yesterday I took my first trip to a branch office of WSDS to help the Loan Officers do interviews for borrower profiles. As my Kiva Coordinator and I left the city of Imphal in his mini station wagon, I watched the road turn from well-paved, to potholed, to dirt over the course of thirty minutes.

Kigali's Weather and Climate: Not as dull as you'd think!

Kigali is in the mountains.  Way up in the mountains.

Rwanda – how it became such an inspiring act of modern rebirth

On the plane to Kigali for my Kiva Fellowship at Urwego Opportunity International, I realise that my knowledge of Rwanda, the country of a thousand hills, is limited to the famous mountain gorillas and the tragic history of genocide in 1994.

I have little idea of what the people and the country will be like. Wary of the fact that everyone over 19 years old must have a significant story, I approach the city and its people with cautious optimism. I should not have been worried. Everywhere I go, gracious, smiling and incredibly polite people greet me. With a combination of English, French, Kinyarwanda and Swahili I slowly manage to engage in basic conversations. Kigali radiates a fascinating mix of tranquility and raw energy and it is difficult not to immediately fall in love with the place. 

Kiva One: Faces that Impacted the Lives of Kiva Fellows

By Kiva Fellows | KF19 | All Over the World


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