Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Mohammad’s Story: Coffee & community in the West Bank

For Mohammad, a father of 6 living in the West Bank, the memories of struggling to make ends meet and feed his family are still fresh. “[It was a] harsh life I was living, as a marginalized person, with no purpose in life,” he said. Read his story and watch a video message at Kiva's Medium page>

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Accident Ignites a Philadelphia Entrepreneur’s Passion for Service

Tariq was just 17 when his life was changed forever in a violent car crash. He was paralyzed in the accident, lost the use of his legs and had to relearn how to do everyday tasks. Following the accident, Tariq had a new perspective on life. “The accident changed my life. I had to overcome a lot of obstacles. I had to learn to even eat,” he said. “I had a whole new take on life and people. ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Kiva U Launches First Kiva Video Game!

Kiva U’s very first video game is live! The interactive game can be played for free, online, with the goal of enabling younger audiences to learn more about microfinance. It helps middle school and high school students understand the microfinance lending cycle, the difference between loans and donations, and more about the main loan uses of Kiva borrowers. It’s the latest project from Ki ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Amazing Photos of Shell Money in the Solomon Islands

Shell money is a traditional form of currency that was used in the Solomon Islands before bank notes were introduced. Some provinces still use shell money today, primarily for ceremonies, settling disputes, and bridal and land payments. It is beautifully crafted from seashells, often consisting of strings of differently colored shell-beads. Visit Kiva's Medium page to see how it's made!

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Mukula’s Dream: A better future for her boys

Like many women in India, Mukula was a child bride. Now she runs a weaving business with 2 employees out of the workshop in her home. Read her story here>

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Our Hearts are with Nepal

Photo by Flickr user Oliver Whiteside On April 25, the most devastating earthquake to hit Nepal in 80 years claimed the lives of thousands of people and destroyed homes and cultural sites. The Kiva community’s thoughts are with the people of Nepal and all the families that have been affected by this tragedy. Kiva reached out to our two partners in Nepal, Patan Business and Professional Wome ...

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  1. Kiva Fellows Update

    Learning to Earn in Rural Cambodia: "When the cash flows in, I save it"

    In Australia (where I'm from), we start learning about money early. From lessons about compound interest in mathematics to budgeting for a meal in home economics, financial "know-how" is considered a survival skill. The hope, it seems, is that when we start earning money we’ll be able to spend it wisely, save it and even invest it.   Some of us are more successful than others.  The point is…

    Posted by Kate O'brien

  2. Kiva Fellows Update

    Trifusion Yoga Studio

    My first visit to TriFusion Yoga is through a reference from April Spears, one of our Kiva Zip borrowers in Bayview. When I first walked in I was greeted with a relaxing scent from an incense and a friendly smile of Armando Luna, the owner of this awesome looking and peaceful yoga studio. The studio to me reflects potential economic growth to Bayview community and Armado’s passion for yoga.…

    Posted by Supharin Chatthaworn

  3. Kiva Fellows Update

    Defaulted Borrowers Tell Their Story

    This summer, I have the privilege of working with one of Kiva's Field Partners, Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB), in Kigali, Rwanda. As part of their semi-annual roadshow, the UOB management team traveled around Rwanda visiting each of the 13 branches and meeting borrowers. While UOB's default rate is low, 2.1%, the most recent roadshow focused on defaulted group loans (see definition below) with…

    Posted by Kathryn Yaros

  4. Kiva Fellows Update

    Can You Smell What Kiva Zip Entrepreneurs Are Cooking?

    Jorge, City Saucery | Photo: Parris Whittingham | fromparriswithlove.com Kiva Zip entrepreneurs in New York are a group of over 150 creative people with small businesses such as family farms, bakeries, media, and apparel. The Kiva Zip team is constantly inspired by the passion they put into their work but it's a really difficult feeling to convey to Kiva lenders, partners, and community. Our…

    Posted by Tony Chow

  5. Kiva Fellows Update

    What Matters Most

    As I pass the halfway mark in my fellowship, I’ve been taking some time to reflect. A self-diagnosed pragmatic dreamer, I’m forever faced with the challenge of having to keep my feet on the ground but not wanting to let my dreams fly away. This period of reflection has led to an overload of questions that I struggle to answer when my heart is telling me what I want to hear but my mind is always…

    Posted by Mark McDonagh

  6. Kiva Fellows Update

    Are You a Fan of Rice Terraces and Waterfalls? Come to Bohol

    Since mid-July, I have been in Tagbilaran City, Bohol for my 2nd field placement in the Philippines with Community Economic Ventures, Inc. (CEVI), a partner of VisionFund International. As a popular tourist destination, Bohol, the tenth largest island of the Philippines, is famous for its beaches and resorts. I have heard from friends that Panglao Island, located at the southwestern tip of…

    Posted by Binh Nguyen

  7. Kiva Fellows Update

    First Time-New Path

    I was excited and a little bit nervous to actually meet Morsinah in person, as she was the first borrower I visited in my first week of the fellowship. After an hour-long conversation with her, I found out that we both have a lot in common. She originally is from Indonesia and had her Master’s in Urban Planning from Columbia University. More surprisingly, during her time at Columbia, she spent…

    Posted by Supharin Chatthaworn

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    A Solution to India’s Public Hygiene Problem

    A Solution to India’s Public Hygiene Problem It’s been over a year since Narendra Modi held his second cabinet meeting, an event where he outlined his famous “10-point” agenda. In it, he proposed reforms in education, innovation, and infrastructure, among others. One area of continued focus for the administration has been public hygiene through the implementation of toilets to individual…

    Posted by Kinjal Icecreamwala

  9. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Best Beer in Bangalore!

    The Best Beer in Bangalore! One man’s journey of struggle and redemption… “I Miss Beer!” This was the realization and startling conclusion that I came to a few weeks after moving from Philadelphia to Bangalore to work with Micrograam, Kiva’s field partner. Having lived in the U.S. for my entire adult life, I never appreciated how easy it was to walk into a bar or deli and pick from a wide…

    Posted by Kinjal Icecreamwala

  10. Kiva Fellows Update

    Healthy Women = Healthy Businesses

    Throughout my Kiva fellowship, I have met with a number of borrowers and have personally witnessed the impact that micro-loans have had in their lives whether it be growing their business, providing for their family, learning how to save money, or giving a borrower an opportunity they wouldn’t have otherwise. As with many of Kiva’s field partners, the impact is not only offering a source of…

    Posted by Kelly Diggins

  11. Kiva Fellows Update

    How One Mexican Couple Baked Their Way Through Tragedy

    The smell of melting butter and baking dough wafts through the town of Tetela, a small community nestled among the sugarcane fields in Oaxaca, Mexico. Two neighborhood boys, one clutching a basketball and one walking a rusty bicycle, amble up to Miguel and Irma’s front gate, pressing their noses in the spaces between the metal. ¨Ya tienen pasteles?¨ one of them shouts excitedly. Are your…

    Posted by Carly Schwartz

  12. Kiva Fellows Update

    ¡Say Cheese!

    One of my favorite activities as a Kiva Fellow is meeting with borrowers. And, the borrowers are usually happy to have a visitor and proud to show their business. Recently, I had the privilege of meeting borrower Dianira, who makes cheese daily. With her loan, Dianira was able to purchase more milk because her business is growing by word of mouth. Three times per week she purchases 50 liters of…

    Posted by Kelly Diggins

  13. Kiva Fellows Update

    A Fish Full of Dollars

    Two years ago, Armen took out a loan of $1,625 for his business and since he has just repaid his final installment last month, I decided to pay him a visit to hear about his experience using Kiva. Armen is a fishmonger in Yerevan where he sells trout and sturgeon from the freshwaters of Armenia’s many beautiful rivers and lakes. Armen is an incredibly hard working man and adds real value to…

    Posted by Mark McDonagh

  14. Kiva Fellows Update

    Nuestra Nueva Medellín

    Photocredit Miguel Olaya @flickr At every major turnpike in Medellin there’s a sign that reads, “Nuestra Nueva Medellin” (our new Medellin), part of a larger national campaign aimed at improving Colombia’s image. Happy-go-lucky posters of smiling families and couples on bike rides with words like ‘sostenible’ or ‘saludable’ adorn subway stations and public plazas. And perhaps they’re paying…

    Posted by Laura Mortara

  15. Kiva Fellows Update

    Tammy's Magical Treasure Island Getaway

    When I walked into A Tran's Bay Bike Shop, I was greeted by brightly painted signs, plants  and murals. The entire shop was covered in floor-to-ceiling designs, with bright whirls of color and whimsical figures pedaling their way through a beautiful, enchanted world. Tammy with a few of the new bikes she purchased with her Kiva Zip loan Welcome to the shop! Tammy, the owner of A Tran's Bay…

    Posted by Sara Wilf

  16. Kiva Fellows Update

    How Mexico’s Poorest Women Redefine The Meaning Of Hard Work

    María Lucas at home in her embroidery studio in El Valerio. Hortensia and I trudge up the winding dirt path toward a steep hillside dotted with tiny concrete homes. Clotheslines strung with brightly-colored skirts and shirts bake in the midday Mexican sun. A faded Coca-Cola sign instructs us to ¨¡refrescate ya!¨ for six pesos. Three turkeys strut by, gobbling hello, and a donkey quietly munches…

    Posted by Carly Schwartz

  17. Kiva Fellows Update

    With a donkey cart on the road to improvement

    Safoura is a 46-year-old woman who lives in Dieli, a small village in rural Mali. After losing her husband 12 years ago, she became a single mother of 7 children. She knows life can be challenging.  As a kid, she could only attend primary school. She realizes that this has limited her opportunities a lot. That’s why she does everything within her power to make sure her kids can go to school.  …

    Posted by Koen Verrecht

  18. Kiva Fellows Update

    How to Make a Tortilla – Guatemalan Style

    Mari Cruz is an energetic, friendly, and dynamic 41-year-old woman. About fifteen years ago, she decided to open her own restaurant and took out her first loan to purchase tables and chairs. One year later, Mari Cruz started her own tortillería – a tortilla bakery. Tortillas are served with every meal in Guatemala, so it was better for her restaurant when she had freshly made tortilla from her…

    Posted by Kelly Diggins

  19. Kiva Fellows Update

    School’s IN For Summer

    Summer school is in session! I know what you’re thinking - “Summer school? Sounds like a drag.” The ear-to-ear smiles on these five, six, and seven year-old students’ faces would make you question all of your preconceived notions of summer school. Charmaine (known as Ms. Moses when she walks through the sunflower yellow door) gives these students plenty to smile about, ensuring a balance of…

    Posted by Emily Gutman

  20. Kiva Fellows Update

    Kiva City Milwaukee: It All Started from the Launch

    Terry needed a printer, a website, more sergers and sewing machines, and cutting mats for her MKE Fashion Incubator. It is a creative venue where she offers private lessons, public classes, and workshops in sewing, alterations, hemming, and sergers using as well as co-working space for other aspiring designers. Iris had a business plan for her home-based sewing and crochet business Virtuous By…

    Posted by Linh Nguyen