Stories tagged with microfinance

Feb 2, 2013 TL Timor-Leste

I arrived in Timor-Leste about a week ago to begin a Kiva Fellowship, and you might be wondering where the heck that is. So I'll try to fill you in on some background while I ease into the place.

I like maps. Here's one of the world:

Timor Is Way Out There (Unless You Live in Australia)
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Feb 2, 2013 TJ Tajikistan
What? Where? Tajikistan is the poorest of the former Soviet states. It shares borders with Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.


Let’s just say that my first 24 hours in Tajikistan were nothing short of a nightmare. After navigating my way through an airport that would have to take out first prize as the worst in the world, I was in for an initiation like no other. I was caught in a car blockade, amidst a drug bust, and surrounded by black leather clad men clutching AK47s. My visa... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 EC Ecuador

 

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. 


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Feb 2, 2013 KE 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. But the food has been the most unexpected and pleasant surprise. Here is a glimpse into some of my favorites and the favorites of Kenyans alike.

Last week, a few local students came over to my apartment to share in the joy of cooking their favorite Kenyan dishes. While I tried my best to help, it was clear early in... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 KH Cambodia

Ever since I found out I was accepted to the Kiva Fellows program, I've felt very fortunate. Fortunate to volunteer with an organization that does incredible work in the mission to alleviate poverty. Fortunate to be based in Hanoi, Vietnam, one of my top choices for country placement. Fortunate to spend three weeks in Cambodia (prior to Vietnam) in order to interview actual borrowers and hear about the...

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Feb 2, 2013 UG Uganda
Every Kiva fellow gets excited about going out into the field. It’s usually the main reason you apply to be a fellow in the first place. To meet our borrowers, see their work, and hear their stories is an experience that is difficult to put into words. As the current Kiva Fellow in Uganda, I had my first opportunity to visit our Kiva borrowers with Grameen Foundation this week.  
 
These borrowers are part of Grameen’s CKW (Community Knowledge Worker) program which centers around peer-nominated small-holder farmers (CKWs) equipped with...
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Feb 2, 2013 AZ Azerbaijan
Dimitri Zakharov | KF20 | Azerbaijan

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... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 RW Rwanda
Kigali is in the mountains.  Way up in the mountains. As high as Denver, Colorado even.  But without any of the flat plains - except for the slim valleys snaking between the hills where there aren’t any houses presumably because of the looming threat of flooding.
 
Car engines roar as they try to make it up some of the hills. Only the most skilled manual transmission drivers can make it 50 Kigali-miles without stalling out.  Even automatic transmission cars tend to stall on hills like these.  At first, I wondered to myself why this... Continue Reading >>
Jan 1, 2013 SV El Salvador, NI Nicaragua

When I hear the words “Christmas” and “end of the year” my mind quickly thinksabout Christmas trees, baby Jesus, cold, family, presents, snow and many more. When I ask the people from Centroamerica whatcomes to their mind with these same words they mostly answer the same, the only thing they change is they don´t say cold neither snow, and they normally include beach or river instead of them.

1st January in Rivas, Nicaragua

After tough 3 months of work in El Salvador with Fundación Campo, Padecomsm and Integral I have just taken deserved holidays. Destination: South of...

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Dec 12, 2012 SN Senegal

0041.jpgw300Squished amid the forcibly vertical crowd of 45 some odd people in a Senegalese bus made for “15 maximum!”  (or so the sign read…), arms glued to my sides and modeling a facial expression of utter discomfort, I overheard a jarring statistic shared in conversation between my neighbors:  25% of Senegal’s population is living in .3% of the land in Dakar.

Try to find empty space — I dare you.

The mind visual...

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