Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Kiva Community Raises $153k to Honor Inspiring Teacher

Biba, her class, and all of us at Kiva were blown away by the response to Biba's story of perseverance and spirit during a difficult battle with brain cancer. Nearly 3,700 lenders made a loan in Biba’s honor, raising $153,000 in loans for people around the world. Simply incredible. Below is a thank you letter to lenders from Biba, who also shares the story of her inspirational students: Se ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Meet the Kivans: Eric and Monica, Fearless Leaders of Kiva Volunteers

This month, we’re spotlighting some of the amazing Kivans who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make Kiva possible. Eric and Monica work with Kiva's volunteers who do everything from translate loans for the site to visiting borrowers in the field. Our volunteers are truly incredible, and so are Eric and Monica! Q&A with Eric Brandt, Senior Manager of the Kiva Fellow Program  What do you ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Meet the Kivans: Engineering Rock Stars Amy and Aswin

This month, we’re spotlighting some of the amazing Kivans who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make Kiva possible. Let’s start with two of the incredible folks who build and maintain the Kiva website and all the technical systems we rely on: Amy and Aswin! Q&A with Amy Rish, Engineering Manager at Kiva: What do you do at Kiva?  I am responsible for systems software development for Kiv ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Meet the Kivans: Field Experts Jomay and David

In the last installment of our series Meet the Kivans, we're excited to introduce you to Jomay and David. These two work closely with our partners in the field and have great insights on Kiva's work around the world. Q&A with Jomay Lui, Kiva's Senior Knowledge Manager What do you do at Kiva? I work on the Partnerships team, which is the team that finds, vets, trains and monitors our vast netwo ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

36 Hours in Detroit with Kiva Zip

Take a tour through Detroit with Kiva Zip and see this beautiful city through some of the local businesses that give it character and charm at every corner!  

Kiva Fellows Update

Kiva Fellows Update,

Rethinking Women in the Middle East

If you ask a group of people what they consider to be the most impressive part about the Middle East, they’ll likely mention something regarding its historical sites or rich cultural diversity.  While both factors are obviously worthy of mention, what continues to inspire me about this region is something far more valuable: its women. This might come as a surprise to some, given that the wide ...

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  1. Kiva Fellows Update

    (Baby) Food for Thought

    Ari Raz with one of PureJoy's baby food varieties. Photo by Ralph Alswang. There are very few people who would buy a one-way ticket to Washington DC with the dream of getting into food production. Meet Ari Raz, one of the founders of PureJoy, who capitalized on the city’s strong entrepreneurial spirit and support for small food businesses. Ari initially intended to start a restaurant. However,…

    Posted by Mary Halder

  2. Kiva Fellows Update

    Unlocking one family vision in Myanmar

    I’ve been traveling for the past 2 week to visit villagers who are Kiva borrowers in Myanmar’s Dry Zone. I visited 10 villages in 3 townships, which all in all meant spending about 25 hours on motorbike and 20 hours on a bus. It was a long and tiresome trip. However, I had a chance to learn more about the Proximity Designs’ loan operation on the field and got to know lots of nice and kind…

    Posted by Krittika Kaewmamuang

  3. Kiva Fellows Update

    Small is Beautiful

    Afa, Farhad and our Trusy Lada The day starts with an early rise. I get picked up at 5am in the obligatory Lada (a small hardworking Russian car) to head out to the remote region of Fuzili. It’s a 4 ½ hour drive from Baku and we want to beat the traffic. I’m spending the day with Komak Credit Union. With me are Afa (Kiva Coordinator) and Farhad (loan officer and designated driver for the day).…

    Posted by Vince Main.

  4. Kiva Fellows Update

    Three Bright Ways to Sell a Solar Lamp in Indonesia

    Many warungs, or small family-owned shops, crowd the streets of Denpasar, Bali but one is sure to catch your attention. The bright yellow bamboo sign at Warung Bu Sinta reads, “Switch on Life” and the owner, Sumarti, waits outside, ready to explain what her “Tech Kiosk” warung is all about. Sumarti outside of her store Sumarti’s warung is part of a network of “Tech Kiosks” whose owners use…

    Posted by Caroline Dorr

  5. Kiva Fellows Update

    Running not one, but a few businesses

    Mrs. Yen outside her homeAs a Kiva Fellow, I’ve had the delightful opportunity to visit a number of Kiva borrowers in their homes or places of work. These treks consisted of hopping in a car and hanging on while the driver used every opportunity to cut off vehicles in front of us; hopping on the back of a motorbike and weaving through city streets or driving down dirt roads, taking in the…

    Posted by Vardah Malik

  6. Kiva Fellows Update

    Building - and Climbing - the Financial Inclusion Ladder

    Bennie, an Accion East client, at a construction site When she started her construction business three years ago, Bennie was one of the few African-American female-led construction firms in the NYC area. Her business, Bennie Daye Services, provides home improvement and light construction services. By 2013, she had hired ten part-time contract workers and got her Women and Minority Business…

    Posted by Rashmi Khare

  7. Kiva Fellows Update

    An Unexpected Trip to the Hospital

    One of the highlights of the Kiva Fellowship is the opportunity to live somewhere far from home and learn about a new culture. I've met dozens of Kiva Zip trustees and borrowers during my three months in Kenya and unexpectedly forged a strong connection with one in particular. I first met Joseph* when he visited the Kiva office for a trustee interview. Joseph has an extensive background of…

    Posted by Tony Chow

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    Rethinking Women in the Middle East

    If you ask a group of people what they consider to be the most impressive part about the Middle East, they’ll likely mention something regarding its historical sites or rich cultural diversity.  While both factors are obviously worthy of mention, what continues to inspire me about this region is something far more valuable: its women. This might come as a surprise to some, given that the…

    Posted by Noura Ismail

  9. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Aftermath of Ferguson: Making a Road Map for Change

    Ferguson, the ‘F’ word that’s guaranteed to divide a room into defensive ideological camps along the lines of who was right, who was wrong, and how to make it better. Thanks to the barrage of media coverage since the shooting of teen Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9, the blinding national spotlight has caused St. Louis to acknowledge the ugly skeleton in our closet: racism is…

    Posted by Chelsea Dyer

  10. Kiva Fellows Update

    Shop Small, Invest Big

    This holiday season, let’s put our dollars where we want them- in the hands of the people building and shaping our communities. Kimberly from Mimik Design Co. Kiva Zip is asking YOU this week; in addition to supporting small businesses by “Shopping Small” on Saturday November 29th- we urge you to invest BIG. Invest your dollars in entrepreneurs all over the country funding loans through Kiva…

    Posted by Elizabeth Williams

  11. Kiva Fellows Update

    Microfinance at Work in the Delta Region of Myanmar

    After two months of my fellowship at the Proximity Design, now it’s time to find out how microfinance is used in practice. I went together with the Kiva HQ staff to visit Tha Pyay Kan village in Pyapon Distric which is about 75 miles south of Yangon and serves as a center for collecting rice from the surrounding agricultural areas. It took us three hours by car and another hour by boat to…

    Posted by Krittika Kaewmamuang

  12. Kiva Fellows Update

    5 Essential Skills Every Kiva Fellow Needs and How To Develop Them at Home

    If you’re thinking about becoming a Kiva Fellow, there are a few invaluable skills you should develop prior to entering the field. This list has been tested and compiled based on multiple fellows’ experiences. If you can nail all five of these skills, you are on your way to becoming an excellent fellow. You’ll do Kiva proud.   1.     The ability to shower in a bucket.   The skill: It’s very…

    Posted by Annie Lydens

  13. Kiva Fellows Update

    Give a man a chance - Don't forget about supporting male borrowers!

    So we've all been there. At least I have. I'm starting up the Kiva website to go look for a new borrower to support. I might click on one of the pictures right on the homepage, because something catches my attention. A smile, an animal that snuck onto the image, a background that looks intriguing. But I'd quickly get on to the filters, and the first one I check is always the same: only show me…

    Posted by Sarah Renfer

  14. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Power of a Loan and a Business Savvy Woman.

    Mary, a role model for others in her group and town. Mary is 38 years old and mother to a 7 year old child.     In just over 2 years she has gone from selling vegetables at the roadside to being the proud owner of a hair salon with 2 employees, and has plans to open another shop in the near future.   “I always wanted a hairdressing salon.  At first, whilst still selling…

    Posted by Susan Lee

  15. Kiva Fellows Update

    Expect the Unexpected

    An open stretch of road outside of town We've all heard this many a time and every time the unexpected occurs, it catches us by surprise. We feel like we've lost a bit of control (if only for a short moment) because we were so meticulous about our planning and we wonder how we could of found ourselves in such a situation.  This is especially true when you're on the road; sometimes the…

    Posted by Vardah Malik

  16. Kiva Fellows Update

    Roadtripping in Timor-Leste

    I’ve been on quite a few roadtrips in my life, but this past month in Timor-Leste I embarked on the ultimate roadtripping adventure, complete with dusty dirt roads, winding seaside cliffs, steep rocky mountains, new friends picked up along the way, overnights in obscure places, a five-song Bob Marley playlist, and many, many unexpected road blocks. The route was designed with one mission in…

    Posted by Caroline Dorr

  17. Kiva Fellows Update

    Nerdfighters, Hiddlestoners, and Detroiters: UNITE!

    "Balloon Flower" by Koons There are two very fun parts about my Kiva fellowship: working in NYC and interacting with Kiva lenders about Accion East clients. "Red Cube" by Noguchi I have been a Kiva lender since 2011, but it wasn’t until I joined Accion East as a fellow that I started participating in Kiva lending teams. When an Accion East staff member asked me what a lending team was, I said…

    Posted by Rashmi Khare

  18. Kiva Fellows Update

    A small business is a small business is a small business...

    Statue of Liberty Kiva lenders make loans to individuals seeking to improve their business. They support expanding access to capital for these entrepreneurs. Most people know Kiva for its work across the globe – but did you know that includes the US? Kiva works with US-based microfinance institutions to address the lack of access to capital small businesses face around the world. In the US, we…

    Posted by Rashmi Khare

  19. Kiva Fellows Update

    Life Under a Mosquito Net

    Life under a mosquito net is anything but ordinary; it’s extraordinary. You may think of it as simply an encased existence for the sole purpose of rest without interruption from animals (I would say insects, but that doesn’t include reptiles) that have the potential to disturb your sleep or pass along potential ailments…but it’s so much more than that. A Life of Royalty First, let’s consider…

    Posted by Shannon Kossick

  20. Kiva Fellows Update

    Behind the Scenes… The Trilogy: Training 23 Kiva Agents

    For my Kiva Fellowship I was very lucky to have been placed with One Acre Fund, one of Kiva’s Field Partners in Kenya. I have been in this beautiful country serving as a Fellow for a month and a half, learning about microfinance and its impact at a local level and... I think it’s time for an update! About One Acre Fund One Acre Fund is a non-profit organization that supplies…

    Posted by Ines Eguiagaray