Stories tagged with Kiva

May 5, 2018 GT Guatemala
Elena (right) and Martina in the cooperative's shop.

Doña Micaela sits on the floor, knees on a straw mat and a spool of cotton thread whittled in her hand. Behind her is a display of natural dyes, labeled for tourists. “Can I please take a picture of you?” I ask her in Spanish.

“She doesn’t understand,” her colleague, Doña Elena, answers. Elena translates my words to Tz’utujil, one of the 21 indigenous languages in Guatemala. Micaela smiles and nods.

Micaela and Elena...

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May 5, 2018 DO Dominican Republic
A colmado’s storefront in the region of Constanza.

Upon arriving in the Dominican Republic, you’re bound to encounter one recurring type of shop…a colmado.
 
What is a colmado? Well...it's a bit of everything.

A colmado is primarily a local convenience store. It sells staples: from rice and beans to toiletries, cigarettes and alcohol. People can call their local colmado for a delivery. Pretty convenient when you realize you need one more avocado in the middle...

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May 5, 2018 GO Global Update
ICT4D can help organizations attain the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals

ICT4D is an acronym that stands for “Information and communication technologies (ICT) for development.” It refers to the use of software, hardware and telecommunications technologies in pursuit of development and humanitarian aid. In March 2018, I had the pleasure of attending the ICT4D Conference held in Lusaka, Zambia, which brought together representatives from NGOs, the private sector and academia to discuss how ICT...

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May 5, 2018 UG Uganda
Doreen at home in Kasese.

Never has the saying, ‘If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a nation,’ resonated more with me. Before starting my fellowship with Kiva, I always wondered why most lenders loan money to women rather than men. However, the experience of visiting borrowers all over Uganda during this fellowship has given me a totally different perspective, as I’ve now been able to see and experience first-hand how key women are to development....

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May 5, 2018 GO Global Update

Tsalani Bwino means “stay well”, or goodbye, in Nyanja, one of Zambia’s local languages. When I first arrived in Lusaka, I didn’t know how I would spend 2 months here. “There’s nothing to do in Zambia,” a friend helpfully told me when I asked them for some travel advice. It’s true that Lusaka doesn’t have many tourist attractions, and it’s usually used as a stopover point by backpackers on their way to Livingstone or one of the national parks. However, upon arrival my calendar quickly filled with things to do and my time in-country has flown by. It’s now my last week in...

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May 5, 2018 JO Jordan
A group shot with the lovely ladies behind Specific Union for Farmer Women.

Tucked into Jordan’s greater Ajloun Governorate lies Sakhra, a small village with 1 main street functioning as the town's arterial gateway to side-streets dotted with...

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Apr 4, 2018 RW Rwanda

It is busy, dark and noisy. There is the intermittent running of a diesel engine as 2 mechanics attempt its repair, and what seems to be an endless stream of men unloading bags of cement into an adjacent shed. About 80 people mill around, chatting and making last-minute phone calls to see where missing group members are.

I am in a shed out the back of a small bank branch near the bustling Kimironko market in Kigali, Rwanda. The group I am here to visit, Tuzamurane Group B, are here for a disbursement meeting, where members will sign a group contract and receive loans...

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Apr 4, 2018 BO Bolivia
Mariluz turning cusi nuts into the prized cusi oil

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,...

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Apr 4, 2018 ZM Zambia

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...

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Apr 4, 2018 SB Solomon Islands
Today I bring you a story of perseverance from the remote valleys of northern Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

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 >>

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