Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Born in a refugee camp, now designing her own collections in NYC

This is part of our World Refugee Day series honoring Kiva borrowers who made the incredible journey from refugee to entrepreneur. Jembere. In Amharic – the native language of Ethiopia – it means, “my sunset.” When Abaynesh, a designer in New York, fulfilled her dream of creating her own eyewear brand, she named it Jembere in honor of her roots. Her collections are now sold b ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

A farmer rebuilds again, as a refugee in her own land

This is part of our World Refugee Day series honoring Kiva borrowers who made the incredible journey from refugee to entrepreneur. Leila is constantly smiling, and beams with pride when talking about her farm. But behind her sunny exterior, she carries a story of extreme hardship and perseverance. Leila used to live in Ochamchire, in the coastal region of Abkhazia, situated in the nor ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

After fleeing war across 8 countries, a tailor pursues his dream

This is part of our World Refugee Day series honoring Kiva borrowers who made the incredible journey from refugee to entrepreneur. For Kone, a designer and tailor, achieving his dream of owning his own business in Nairobi has been a long journey, both mentally and physically. In 2002, he was the proud owner of a stable and prosperous tailoring business in his native Côte d’Ivoire ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

She’s 22, from rural Zimbabwe, and a mogul in the making

This is the fourth in our ‘Invest in her, invest in change’ series celebrating the power of women entrepreneurs around the world. Join Kiva in crowdfunding $1 million in loans to women by International Women’s Day on March 8. Lindiwe, 22, beams with pride as she presents bottles of her homemade juice and soda to customers at her shop in rural Zimbabwe. Each bottle has a hand-glued label ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Finding a green, local solution to a deadly household chore

It’s early evening and the sun is glowing, low and golden, above a homestead located a 3-hour drive from Cape Coast, Ghana. The air has cooled just enough for Grace and her family to start cooking their dinner over an open fire. Tonight they are making gravy and yams, and crushing together tomatoes and garden eggs, a popular type of eggplant.   At regular intervals Grace and h ...

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  1. Kiva Fellows Update

    A Sea of Purple: Celebrating Semana Santa (Holy Week)

    Known to be not only be one of Central America’s most exciting places to celebrate the Easter holidays, but also one of the world’s, Guatemala is home to some of the most elaborate celebrations leading up to Easter Sunday to commemorate the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. Historically used as a way to explain the story of Jesus, Semana Santa traditions in Guatemala combine…

    Posted by Kanchan Sakhrani

  2. Kiva Fellows Update

    An Ultramarathon in Kenya: Why Not?

    One of the great things about Nairobi is the plethora of running groups available. In Monrovia, I was an avid member of the Monrovia House Hash Harriers, but there were few opportunities for more serious running. In Nairobi, there is at least one running group meeting daily. One of my favorites is the Urban Swaras, which meets at 7 am on Saturday mornings, with 5-20 km runs followed by…

    Posted by Will Putnam

  3. Kiva Fellows Update

    SMEP: Using Water Loans to Lift Up Communities in Kenya

    Much of the world lacks access to safe water. Worse yet, even in areas where safe drinking water is available, access is often restricted due to a lack of available financing. SMEP, one of Kiva’s field partners in Kenya, offers affordable WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) loans to borrowers looking to purchase water tanks. SMEP’s affordable financing has several major benefits. Since the…

    Posted by Will Putnam

  4. Kiva Fellows Update

    Female Bankers in Tajikistan

    Hi Kiva Lenders,  Today I would like to share a story about a group of women whose hard work makes it possible for you to learn about the unique story of each Kiva borrower in Tajikistan. Let me introduce you to Nargiza, Fazilat and Nilufar, the all-star female Kiva team members from MDO Humo and Partners (Humo), one of my microfinance field partners in Tajikistan.  The all-star female…

    Posted by Wenli Rui

  5. Kiva Fellows Update

    Visiting Mother's Love

      When you follow your heart, you can be anything but wrong. You can go anywhere but distant from yourself. ----------- The sound is new to me, but it's surely a welcoming one. I am in a Mozambican district in the central share of the country, represented chiefly by its agricultural potential. The main city in the surroundings is Chimoio, famous for being the center point…

    Posted by Gian Vanzo

  6. Kiva Fellows Update

    Microfinance: a catalyst for poverty alleviation and agriculture development in Cameroon.

    Determination. Adaptability. Patience. Love. These are the key virtues you need when you embark on a journey through coffee and cocoa plantations in Cameroon, ready for an epic and folkloric adventure. Folks, next time that you enjoy your favourite chocolate bar or sip your matinal double expresso, I hope you’ll remember the stories that follow, the story of Joseph, Ella, Beatrice,…

    Posted by Marie Le Page

  7. Kiva Fellows Update

    Food Security in Mali: Challenges facing the Agricultural sector and the Farmer’s prospect for a better Future.

    A group of Kiva borrowers My intellectual curiosity and passion for asking questions is what led me to pursue further studies in Finance; however, my interest in the microfinance sector is also long standing. At Kiva, I could combine both by taking up a fellowship position whereby I will be working with kiva field partners in three francophone African countries including my home country Mali. At…

    Posted by Daouda Konipo

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    Sanergy living up to its brand; Fresh life, live fresh...

    Sanergy launched its first toilet, the Fresh Life Toilets (FLT) in November 2011. Fresh life, live fresh... providing good sanitationFrom then Sanegry has been working in slum areas of Nairobi, including Kwa Njenga, Mathare, Kwa Reuben, Makadara, Kamukunji, providing sanitation services. During my one month at Sanergy I was eager to understand how Sanergy is living to fulfil its brand name,…

    Posted by Lynnet Mlambo

  9. Kiva Fellows Update

    From on-the-ground hurdles to the online experience

    Student crossing the railway as we drive by in search of a borrower's house In the past 3 weeks I've had the opportunity to visit dozens of Kiva-supported borrowers, funded by hundreds of generous individuals worldwide, thanks to Kiva's local partner Hluvuku-Adsema, in Mozambique, Africa. Each visit was unique on its own and each individual I met could have their own biopic. But, given my…

    Posted by Gian Vanzo

  10. Kiva Fellows Update

    Creating Food Security in Liberia: The Work of The Universal Farmer's Association

    It is easy to notice that the majority of expatriates in Liberia live in a bubble, a world of security, running water, working toilets, electricity, and even air-conditioning and gyms for the lucky ones. What is harder to remain aware of is that Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city, itself lies in a bubble. Despite the lack of toilets and electricity for the vast majority, Monrovia is, by Liberian…

    Posted by Will Putnam

  11. Kiva Fellows Update

    It’s time to harvest: growing ginger on the Kenyan coast

    As a Kiva Fellow in Kenya, I have had the privilege to work with farmers from Kiva’s partner, Asante Foundation. It’s an exciting time right now, as farmers are harvesting their first ginger crop that they planted in April. One borrower I met was Juma, an experienced maize farmer and a father of three who took a risk this year to venture into ginger farming.    Juma with his ginger harvest. Juma…

    Posted by Maelen Haugen

  12. Kiva Fellows Update

    Connecting Liberia: How Wireless Technology Lab Is Helping Rural Liberians With Computer Awareness & Literacy Training To Access The Outside World

    Banjor Community is a wonderful area. It has friendly people, beautiful beaches, a gym, a golf course, the ruins of what was once West Africa’s largest hotel, over 160 schools, and now, thanks to Joseph Pambu, a computer lab and training program. The one thing this community lacks is electricity. Despite its location only a few miles from Liberian Electricity Corporation’s (LEC) headquarters,…

    Posted by Will Putnam

  13. Kiva Fellows Update

    The little cookstove that could: How ASA Initiative is helping bring green energy and jobs to Ghana

    One of the fun parts about a Kiva Fellowship is the chance to pick up new skills that may come in handy down the road. I’m happy to report that thanks to my work with Kiva partner ASA Initiative, I have not only mastered Clean Cookstoves 101 but can now add welding to my resume under “miscellaneous skills.” In addition to offering business and agriculture loans, ASA is leading efforts to…

    Posted by Susan Patterson

  14. Kiva Fellows Update

    Let’s hear it for the men

    I can still remember feeling overwhelmed the first time I made a Kiva loan. So many options, so many deserving Kiva borrowers — where to begin? I didn’t have a preference on region, country, or loan type, but I did know with certainty that I wanted to lend to a woman.      Microlending was developed to give the un- and under-banked access to capital; those too poor for a…

    Posted by Susan Patterson

  15. Kiva Fellows Update

    Reason to despair and reason to hope

    A wonderful night under the stars in the small village of Tiebele - thanks to new my best friend the mosquito net! I have explored the Macchu Picchu in Peru and witnessed the tranquil peace of temples in Bagan, Myanmar. I have visited the bustling city of Dhaka, Bangladesh and I have seen the breathtaking Ajmer Palace in India. But I’d never been to Africa. And never yet to a country that…

    Posted by Florence Lepelletier

  16. Kiva Fellows Update

    1 year Ebola free: Sierra Leone's Remarkable Recovery

    November 7th was the 1 year anniversary of the end of Ebola in Sierra Leone. Everyone in the streets stood still for 3 minutes at 11am to both remember and rejoice. From the usual comfort of our living rooms we witnessed the terror through attention grabbing headlines — “Ebola could strike 1.4 Million,” “The ISIS of biological agents,” “Ebola crisis on the same scale as Aids Epidemic,”…

    Posted by Ceejay Girard

  17. Kiva Fellows Update

    Six Months After 7.8: ESPOIR and Kiva aid in Ecuador’s Earthquake Recovery Efforts

    Destruction in Chamanga, Manabi, Ecuador October 12, 2016 On April 16, 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake destroyed much of Manabí, Ecuador. The death toll was more than 600, with nearly 13,000 injured. Additionally, more than 26,000 people were forced into shelters or tent communities after losing their homes. But only weeks after the devastating disaster, Fundación ESPOIR had already sprung…

    Posted by Caitlin Jolley

  18. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Secret Garden: Uncovering mysteries at a Kiva borrower

    As a Kiva Fellow, each field visit to meet Kiva’s borrowers feels like an exciting, new experience! I compare it to reading a new book each time; and instead of starting at the beginning, you get to read the last page first. Today, I had the pleasure of visiting one of Kiva’s borrowers “Señora Carmen” at her farm in the idyllic Urquillos village in the Sacred Valley to see how her Kiva story…

    Posted by Janvi Gandhi

  19. Kiva Fellows Update

    Solar Energy in Cambodia: Cross-Sector Challenges in Engineering, Political Economy, Mobile Payments, and Microfinance

    Earlier this month, two of my colleagues from Kiva HQ in San Francisco visited me in Phnom Penh as a part of their annual Kiva Staff Partner visit. The purpose of the Kiva Staff Partner visits is to allow Kiva employees that are based in San Francisco and don’t have regular contact with the day-to-day operations of Kiva on-the-ground to reconnect to our mission by spending a week in the field…

    Posted by Omika Jikaria

  20. Kiva Fellows Update

    The power of needle and thread: How one Kiva borrower is helping the next generation

    Call it fate, divine intervention, or mere coincidence, life sometimes — quite unexpectedly — gives you exactly what you need at just the right time.   That was certainly the case for me last week after the U.S. elections. The results were not what I’d hoped for, and I found myself questioning, well, pretty much everything.   When I arrived at the office the next day, it was with…

    Posted by Susan Patterson