The portrayal of Arab women in the media often leads to the common perception of Middle Eastern women as socially and professionally restricted, and often considered to be second-class citizens. In fact my first-hand experience has proven these stereotypes to be true on several occasions. However, when discussing the elusive “Middle East” region, it is important to acknowledge the varying levels of women’s rights and engagement across...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with All
By Sheethal Shobowale, KF10, Bolivia
I met some Dutch Kiva lenders during a trip to Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca in Bolivia who don’t like to loan to groups on Kiva because
Hello! My name is Polai and I am the new Kiva Fellow at field partner AMK. I arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia a little over a week ago. As I start my second week here, I wanted to reflect on my experience so far being Kiva’s first Khmer speaking fellow and a Cambodian-American living here. Here are some thoughts:
- Me as an Asian-American vs. a Cambodian-Khmer-speaking-American. In one instance, I went apartment hunting with my boyfriend (tall white American) here and at one of the apartments when we were introduced to the female apartment manager, the woman glossed...Continue Reading >>
Karen Buxton, KF10, Liberia
The Liberians United for Haiti Relief Concert took place last weekend at one of Monrovia’s large outdoor stadiums. “Please give to Haiti! We know what it is like to have nothing, so let us give to a country that has just been devastated,” cried the Master of Ceremonies. The boisterous crowd raised their hands and cheered in approval.
Several thousand...Continue Reading >>
By Peter Marchant, KF10 Azerbaijan
The photos on borrower profiles provide a key connection between Kiva lenders and the borrowers they fund, but lending based on snapshots has drawbacks. A photo can convey a lot about a borrower, a culture, a business or a life and create an emotional reaction for the viewer. Yet the very power of a picture can prevent lenders from learning the full story of a borrower and their country.
Azerbaijan’s borrower photos often feature dour men in tweed coats peering out unsmiling from behind bushy mustaches. They stand near a few head of...Continue Reading >>
By Eva Wu, KF9 Philippines
Having read Meg’s excellent blog post “Bad Roads, Interest Rates, and MFI Sustainability” and the ensuing comments from Kiva lenders, I admit that I was rather baffled. Particularly by comments that varied upon the theme of: “In the U.S. you can get loans for ~8%! You can get credit for 18% interest, which we find high and oppressive! So how can MFIs charge 36% interest rates on loans to their poor clients, it is usurious, it can’t be justified…” so on and so forth.
I believe that if you were to...Continue Reading >>
For all those who have succumbed to playing the late night trivia game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, you know it is based on the assumption that any actor can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon within six steps. The game is a play on the network idea “Six Degrees of Separation” that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth.
What I have come to realize week one into my placement as a brand new Kiva Fellow is Kevin Bacon is to Hollywood as Kiva Fellows are to the world of microfinance. Our role is to facilitate ...Continue Reading >>
Where am I?
What am I doing?
Who am I?
These are all important questions that Kiva Fellows ask themselves. I imagine that I will spend the duration of my Kiva Fellowship (and probably a long time after) seeking the answers to these questions. So, what of the questions I have asked of my surroundings this week?
Trying to orient myself, I have asked an endless stream of questions to the Prisma staff and to the borrowers we interviewed this week.
My first question Monday morning was far too ambitious: “Roberto,” I asked of the inter-office...Continue Reading >>
Hezron Murinde is a happy man. After 20 years of subsistence farming in a hilly region of Kenya’s Central Province, he’s earning a profit. It started with a chaff cutter. A chaff cutter is a big, cranky device that chops feed into small enough pieces for livestock to eat (and livestock eat a lot). The chaff cutter led to the cow. Not just any cow, but a high-yield dairy cow that produces enough milk to out-gross all the maize and beans Hezron grows across acres of land.Continue Reading >>
Josh Weinstein, KF9, Philippines
Last week I went to a town called La Castellana about an hour south of Bacolod to visit the NWTF branch there. I was there to meet a handful of Kiva borrowers and interview them about the progress of their loan. Over the course of two days, I met six women that currently have a loan with Kiva, and another four that I am going to post to the site this week. La Castellana is a town in the mountains that is largely supported by agriculture. It is also one of the major areas impacted by agrarian reform and home to some of NWTF...Continue Reading >>