The moment we step under the palm thatched roof, it starts to drizzle. “You brought the rain!” jokes Mariluz, the borrower I have come to visit. Her home, in the northeastern corner of Bolivia, is a simple, 2-room set up, with the thatched roof covering the area that fronts it. This is where she works and where 2 of her youngest play in a hammock, a parrot sometimes joining them. Around us is lush greenery, thanks to a long rainy season and,...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with Kiva
Kiva is not just for microfinance institutions. Before joining the organization as a Fellow, I worked in information technology and telecommunications, and developed a strong interest in technology’s use in the developing world. As a Kiva Fellow in Southern Africa, I get to pursue that interest in my work with a company called iSchool that develops educational technology for primary school students and teachers in Zambia.
iSchool produces pre-loaded Mwabu tablets with educational resources for students and teachers. Their materials cover the entire Zambian...
It was the morning after a night of heavy showers, and I made my way to meet Eddry, a client of South Pacific Business Development (SPBD), a Solomon Islands-based microfinance organization. Along the journey, the road quickly turned from gravel, to dirt to wet mud and it wasn’t long before the staff 4x4 was unable to go any further and Vanessa, an SPBD staff member and my reliable guide, stopped the car in what seemed a location with no close proximity to any... Continue Reading >>
On June 20, 2016, Kiva launched the World Refugee Fund, which matches donations to refugees on World Refugee Day dollar-for-dollar. Traditional forms of finance are often out of reach for refugees, and as such supporting loans for this population is vital. Even so, a host of logistical, regulatory and psychological factors stand in the way of banks and small-scale institutions attempting to accommodate refugees with appropriate financial products.
In Jordan, Microfund for Women...
As I get ready to start a new chapter in Nairobi, Kenya with the Kiva Labs team, I can’t help but reminisce on the last 6 months abroad as a Kiva Fellow in the Philippines and Timor-Leste. Although it was not always easy to be on my own, I’ve grown so much as a person because of all the “Yeses” I reluctantly agreed to. 'Treat every day as an adventure,' was the phrase I reminded myself every time I felt lonely, or was stuck in unexpected and uncomfortable situations. One blog is definitely not enough to share all the great adventures I experienced, but hopefully the 3 lessons below can...Continue Reading >>
Albania has a gigantic, generous heart, and I found it last weekend in the country’s beautiful north. I was invited by Ester, a co-worker from Agro & Social Fund (the Field Partner I currently work with), to spend the weekend with her at home. “Home,” it turned out, was a small village called Klos outside of Burrel that could be reached from Tirana only after winding through mountainous terrain on some of the bumpiest roads I’ve ever encountered. There were no lights for long stretches, which made for incredible stargazing, but dangerous driving conditions. Luckily, Ester’s fiancé,...Continue Reading >>
When I first landed in Freetown International Airport, I had the honor of being welcomed by Mr. Donald Ola Smart, who's position at Mountain Lion Agriculture (MLA) I was not sure of at that time. However, while we were driving back to Makeni, the capital of the northern province and where MLA's headquarters are, he talked at length about Sierra Leone’s past history and his commitment to the reintegration into society of the civil war’s ex-combatants (a deadly conflict that Sierra Leone suffered from 1991 to 2001). I also soon grasped that he is actually the CEO of MLA...Continue Reading >>
Normally, when I go on borrower verification visits I am accompanied by someone from the Field Partner office, both to serve as a translator and (I suspect) to ensure I don’t get lost forever somewhere out there. This story began with an unchaperoned borrower verification trip and ended up with a deep dive into the exciting social enterprise scene in Armenia.
The last client I had to visit from my borrower verification list for Nor Horizon, one of the Armenian Field Partners I am working with, was also the client located farthest away in Kapan, a city approximately 7 hours...
Growing up in Lagos as an Indian immigrant for nearly 15 years, I thought I had seen it all. From the traffic (affectionately known as go-slow), to the haggling with local vegetable sellers and prolonged power outages, there is a controlled chaos that binds together the residents of the world’s sixth largest city.
Agriculture is a key component of the Nigerian economy, making up 24% of its total GDP. However, the agricultural sector has not kept up with rapid population growth, and...Continue Reading >>
In a recent report from the Oxford Business School, it was estimated that 66% of Ghana’s rice consumption was supported by imports. This figure might sound almost absurd when one considers the availability and fertility of soil suitable for rice crops or the dedication to hard work of Ghanaian farmers.
Part of the endeavour to restore better levels of local rice production - the government-driven irrigation project in the Volta region (East Ghana) - started around 4 years ago on an area extending over more than 5,000 hectares. With a willingness to provide land to a...