Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Help Kiva Win $500k: Vote with just 2 clicks!

Exciting news! Kiva Oakland is a finalist in the Bay Area Google Impact Challenge and could win $500,000 to grow more neighborhood businesses. Please vote to support Oakland's small business owners. Voting takes just 2 clicks and requires no registration or email! The top 4 projects will receive a $500,000 grant, and the remaining six will receive a $250,000 grant.  With the Google Impact g ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

SF Restaurant Keeps Vietnamese Traditions Alive in Transitioning Neighborhood

This post is part of a series celebrating San Francisco small businesses as part of the Kiva SF launch. Learn more> Turtle Tower is a popular Vietnamese restaurant renowned for their Northern Vietnamese style chicken soup. Started by a Vietnamese immigrant couple, Turtle Tower has become a staple of the Tenderloin district over the last 15 years and attracts San Franciscans from all walks of li ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

A Sourdough Dream: From Costa Rica to San Francisco

This  story is part of a series celebrating San Francisco small businesses as part of the Kiva SF launch. Learn more> San Francisco native Danny Paz Gabriner left his job in the tech industry 6 years ago with a dream to start his bread baking company, Sour Flour in the Mission district. “There are 4 reasons why I chose to focus on bread,” Danny says. “Bread has been around for a really ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

A Family BBQ Business is Reborn in South San Francisco

This post is part of a series celebrating San Francisco small businesses as part of the Kiva SF launch. Learn more> Azar’s training as a barbeque master started at a very young age. Growing up in East Palo Alto in the 1980s, he was a fixture at his parent’s restaurant, Goldie’s Barbeque. Goldie, Azar’s mother and the namesake of the restaurant, taught Azar how to prepare food a ...

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 ...

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  1. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Art of Guatemalan Weaving

    Around the majestic Lake Atitlán sits the small town know for its traditional weavings, San Juan La Laguna. I was graciously invited to learn about the weaving process from two borrowers who are part of the women’s cooperative Asociación Tz’utujil. Tz’utujil is the Mayan culture and language of those inhabitants who live around the lake. One Saturday morning, I took the 30-minute boat ride…

    Posted by Kelly Diggins

  2. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Man Behind the Barista: visiting a coffee grower in Peru

    Proud papa of profitable plants Shortly before leaving for my Kiva fellowship, I had an iced coffee so good that I thanked the barista.  Today, I got to thank the man who grew the beans--not the actual beans, probably, but the kind of high-quality beans that must have gone into such a drink.  Experts say that while Peru doesn't produce nearly the quantity of its famous neighbor, the quality of…

    Posted by Gordon Thompson

  3. Kiva Fellows Update

    A Few of my Favourite Things

    Life is very sad according to Hranush Kharatyan, or so the title of her book goes. It is an economic and social commentary examining life in Armenia since this small but proud Transcaucasian republic regained its independence from the Soviet Union, an event that was marked by celebrations of its 24th anniversary last week. The book focuses on the living standards of Armenians, one in three of…

    Posted by Mark McDonagh

  4. Kiva Fellows Update

    Juana’s “Haute Coiffure” salon in Samaná, Dominican Republic

    The Caribbean high noon sun embraced us like a heating blanket as we started our short walk through the countryside to Juana's place. The semi-paved dirt road led us by a small market shop, and as she waved to the people inside, she turned and said with a proud smile, "My father is the owner here". I waved back and the four of us continued with a steady walk to our destination. The big…

    Posted by Ariadni Liakis

  5. Kiva Fellows Update

    Meet Soumaila, The Unstoppable!

    During my borrower’s verifications, I met incredible borrowers with their own unique story of faith, survival and hope. But among them, one man’s story lingered with me and I could not shake his face off of my mind. The man was Soumaila; a small and humble man with an infectious smile.Soumaila (in the middle) proudly showing his parcelsAs soon as we arrived, he along with his group members…

    Posted by Aminatou Diallo

  6. Kiva Fellows Update

    A Peek at the Stories Behind A Loan Disbursement

    My first attendance to a loan disbursement was at Micro Start, one of Kiva’s field partners located in Gounghin, Ouagadougou. What started as a routine day turned out to be the most inspiring experience of my life. I was not quite sure what to expect as this was my first time attending a loan disbursement. When I stepped in the room, I gazed through and saw women sitting in groups of three or…

    Posted by Aminatou Diallo

  7. Kiva Fellows Update

    Changing the ‘Default Settings’ of African Women

    A conversation with Angeline Murimirwa, Regional Director of Camfed   Angie Murimirwa is the Regional Director for Camfed, covering the whole of the Africa region.  As part of her high profile role, she has recently returned from a trip to Washington to join a panel with Michelle Obama, on the role of young women in the education of girls.  But Angie’s story could easily have been very…

    Posted by Alan Mathers

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    In the heart of a group loan meeting in Samaná, Dominican Republic

    The buzzing sound of a beat up old motorcycle disturbed the morning calm at the small town of Las Galeras (Samaná) in the Dominican Republic. "Moto concho - moto concho?", the driver loudly asked. "No gracias", I replied for the third time in the last five minutes, knowing i was the obvious target of the local moto taxi service, waiting for my ride at the side of the road. As I wiped the sweat…

    Posted by Ariadni Liakis

  9. Kiva Fellows Update

    Palestinian Borrower, Ramadan Beverages

    A Kiva Borrower, who found success in selling Arabic Coffee in the streets of Jenin, inspired me to write about the beverage that millions of people wake up to in the AM, to as well as some Ramadan beverages commonly consumed in Palestine! (Video) Kiva sampling Mohamed's Arabic Coffee The Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan in Palestine is a highly anticipated, spiritual, and sometimes lazy time…

    Posted by Rachel Moore

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Kiva Fellows Update

    Can You Smell What Kiva Zip Entrepreneurs Are Cooking?

    Jorge, City Saucery | Photo: Parris Whittingham | 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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