Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

We Believe: 8 Tenets Kiva Lives By

We are constantly inspired by the Kiva community–a community that includes more than 2.5 million lenders and borrowers around the globe. Together, we are bound by our vision of a more connected, compassionate world. In celebration of this vision at the heart of Kiva’s work, we’re telling the world what #WeBelieve this week. Will you join us? Share your favorite #WeBelieve message below, ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Change is in Your Hands: Grameen-Jameel And Kiva Support Entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa

Women and youth in the Middle East are pushing boundaries, creating their own opportunities and taking control of their futures. They are the seeds of positive change and you can be a part of their stories through the new Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Ltd. and Kiva campaign, “Change is in Your Hands.” The campaign allows people around the world to go on Kiva and, with as little as a $25, offe ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

The Coolest Part of Kiva You Might Not Know About

Imagine a world where you make a loan on Kiva, our Field Partners distribute that loan to the most vulnerable communities, and then take the next step to address other holistic needs of the community, like health and access to financial education.   Luckily we don’t have to imagine it. Because when you support someone on Kiva, you’re offering more than financial capital. You’re offer ...

Kiva Fellows Update

Kiva Fellows Update,

From Soccer Pro to Sewing Pro in Sierra Leone

Tejan, proudly outside his new shop As a young man, Tejan had long dreamed of being a professional soccer player. For fifteen years, he played with one of Sierra Leone’s top teams, the first division Regent’s Olympic.  But even as a star defender and captain of his team, his earnings, essentially a portion of what was taken at the entrance gate, were seldom enough to make ends meet. In 200 ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Haiti Rising: Record Loan Backed by Muhammad Yunus Will Create 300 Quality Jobs

In 2010, Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake that weakened the economy and left half the population without employment. More than four years later, Haiti continues to rebuild and jobs remain scarce. Now you can play a role in creating sustainable, long-term recovery in Haiti through Kiva. Kiva and Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus are teaming up with Kreyòl Essence, a social business, to cre ...

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  1. Kiva Fellows Update

    No such thing as bad luck: True Grit in Lima

    To foreigners, Peruvians, and many Limeños alike, San Juan de Lurigancho is merely an underdeveloped, overcrowded, and unsafe district nestled into one of the peaks on Lima’s perimeter, called el cerro San Cristobal. Their exposure to the district is often limited to glimpsing its distant multi-colored homes from the center of Lima or driving through the area in order to reach the summit’s…

    Posted by Christina Magro

  2. Kiva Fellows Update

    Photo Essay: Spirit of Survival in Africa's Largest Slum

    Check out Kiva's most recent Exposure post, featuring inspiring stories of borrowers doing everything from sheltering orphans to creating a safe space for HIV-positive people:

    Posted by Stephanie Skinner

  3. Kiva Fellows Update

    Stunning Sights From Medellin´s Feria de Las Flores

      For the last 57 years Medellin has celebrated los silleteros (pictured above), the men and women who used to carry people and cargo on their backs on chairs, including carrying the sick to doctors. Los silleteros are celebrated at the 10 day Feria de Las Flores (Festival of Flowers), which proved once again that Colombians know how to dance, eat, celebrate their culture and work hard.…

    Posted by David Picciao

  4. Kiva Fellows Update

    A Kiva Zip Borrower Honors Her Lenders with Product Names

    Working with a borrower like Athene inspires me because she represents true ambition and commitment; both traits that are essential in becoming successful as an entrepreneur.  Athene is the owner of Sweet Pea Prop Shop, an online store that sells newborn clothing to professional photographers as props. She created her business in an effort to re-integrate into a slowly recovering economy and…

    Posted by Sydnie Nicoll

  5. Kiva Fellows Update

    ‘I am a Refugee'

    “We don’t think life can be more bad than here in Kenya right now…. we wish this to end soon,” says Joyce a 19-year-old Congolese refugee and single mother of two.  In 2009, at the age of 15, Joyce and her family fled the war in Umoja, Democratic Republic of Congo in search of safe land. One day they heard on the radio that there was safety in Kenya. After two months of traveling, they arrived…

    Posted by Shikha Dubey

  6. Kiva Fellows Update

    The MBA-Worthy Businessmen of Zimbabwe

    I moved to South Africa from Zimbabwe two weeks ago for the second placement of my fellowship. As part of my work for expanding Kiva’s partnerships within South Africa, I have been meeting with lots of interesting organizations with very innovative business models. Whenever I mention that I worked in Zimbabwe before arriving to South Africa, they cannot stop talking about the entrepreneurial…

    Posted by Ayse Sabuncu

  7. Kiva Fellows Update

    Acts of Kindness: A Dedication to a Loving Mother

    As a dedication, this post is a bit of a departure from your regularly scheduled Kiva Fellows programming. For this I ask your forgiveness - I'm writing for a special reason, which you'll discover soon.   Given the amount of distressing news in the media lately, it can be easy to lose sight of all the kindness and compassion in the world. On a recent trip through western Uganda, I was reminded…

    Posted by Adam Halpert

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    Colombia and Kenya? An Unlikely Pair....

    Its been 10 months since I left my previous job in Los Angeles and had the privilege to become a Kiva Fellow.  I began working in beautiful Kenya and am now in colorful Colombia. Though geographically far apart, there are more similarities between the two countries than one might think.   Some of my fondest memories are from visiting about 20 Kiva borrowers all over Kenya.  While…

    Posted by David Picciao

  9. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Art of Waiting in Kenya

    Village view from a matatu As I approach the matatu stage I feel a bout of irritation.  Completely empty.  I am the first passenger to arrive, which undoubtedly means waiting for an indefinite amount of time until it is full and ready to head out.  I quickly text the Kiva borrower I am to visit to tell her I may be late.  Having been in this situation many times before, she messages me back with…

    Posted by Traci Yoshiyama

  10. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Joys of a Mobile Loan Tool, and an Old-School Office

    On a recent trip out of Nairobi, we arrived in Eldama Ravine, a small town of around 15,000 people in Kenya's Rift Valley Province.  On our arrival we were greeted by Benson, the local loan officer for SMEP Microfinance Bank, who proudly walked us down Eldama Ravine's main street, into a building containing a general store and an education center, and up two flights of stairs to a small office…

    Posted by Steve Isaacs

  11. Kiva Fellows Update

    Kenya's Women Beekeepers

    Traditionally Kenyan women have not been in the business of beekeeping. Beehives were historically kept very high in trees requiring the beekeeper to undertake a somewhat dangerous climb in order to service or retrieve the hive. Culturally, this was not considered an activity fit for Kenyan women. Now, with modern beekeeping techniques and tools, colonized hives can be managed from the ground.…

    Posted by Erin Yamaoka

  12. Kiva Fellows Update

    From Designer to Refugee to Kiva Zip Borrower in Kenya

    While working on Kiva Zip operations in Kenya, I engage with Trustees (the volunteer backbone of the Kiva Zip model) every day, hearing their stories, experiences, issues, and very often-getting humble invitations to visit their borrowers. These visits are one of my favorite parts of my fellowship. This is when I get to see the impact of the Kiva Zip model on the ground.…

    Posted by Nina Patel

  13. Kiva Fellows Update

    Big Smiles in Small Town Western Uganda

    My Kiva Fellowship recently led me on a 930km trip through Western Uganda, where I visited a variety of borrowers living in rural areas. Although the journey was long and full of dust, sweat and bumpy roads, there were also many laughs, delicious foods and wonderful people along the way. The purpose of this adventure was to meet with eight borrowers scattered around the countryside so that I…

    Posted by Adam Halpert

  14. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Long Road to Connecting with Your Audience

    It was 8 in the morning; I was sitting in front of a group of five staff members from MicroKing’s Gokwe branch, about to start my Kiva training. Gokwe is a small town in a rural area of Zimbabwe. It takes a four-hour bus ride and a two-hour car ride (or a Kombi ride - tiny local buses that lengthen the journey by another 2 hours), which may be why they have never had a Kiva Fellow visit…

    Posted by Ayse Sabuncu

  15. Kiva Fellows Update

    "Art is...worth making. Something risky. Something human.”

    It has been just over three weeks since I started my fellowship with Kiva Zip. When I first applied to the program, I warned my family and friends that I would most likely be very “out of reach” for four months. Meaning that I would be working in a faraway place in a distant time zone- think Samoa, Togo, Bangladesh, or maybe even some country that I had barely heard of or knew very little…

    Posted by Sydnie Nicoll

  16. Kiva Fellows Update

    A Better Life in Kenya's Rift Valley, $11 at a Time

    Last week I travelled to Nakuru, a town to the northwest of Nairobi in Kenya's Rift Valley Province, about three hours away by matatu.  Matatus are the predominant mode of transport in Kenya and while they lack a few comforts - leg room, air conditioning, suspension, and any limit on the number of people that will attempt to fit inside one simultaneously - they have the benefits of being cheap,…

    Posted by Steve Isaacs

  17. Kiva Fellows Update

    Happiness Without a Smile: Facing Bell’s Palsy

    Sometimes it is better to share your challenges after they happened not while they are happening, so here it goes:   A month ago, while I was in L.A. for a work tradeshow I discovered I couldn’t smile… yes, half of my face was totally paralyzed. Thinking it was a stroke I ran to the ER where after a couple of hours and tests they diagnosed me with Bell’s Palsy.   Bell’s…

    Posted by Virginia Campo

  18. Kiva Fellows Update

    Chicago to Nairobi

    After completing Kiva Fellows Training in San Francisco, and moving my last few possessions into storage in Chicago, it was time to make the 8000 mile journey to Nairobi and start my fellowship!  With the exception of some visa troubles at the airport in Chicago, the journey went relatively simply and smoothly; I passed the time pretty effectively with a combination of in-flight movies, coffee…

    Posted by Steve Isaacs

  19. Kiva Fellows Update

    A Resilient Kiva Zip Borrower: Esther, the 'Annapurna of Kibera Slums'

    Kiva Zip is all about human connections. Three weeks in Nairobi and I am just amazed to witness the direct impact the Kiva Zip model is having on their borrowers and the strength of this bond of trustee-borrower-lender relationships.  This week, I met a Kiva Zip borrower, Esther.  She loves and is proud of her little shop “Facebook Cereal” in TOI market area of the Kibera slum in Nairobi,…

    Posted by Nina Patel

  20. Kiva Fellows Update

    Beyond Lending, Helping Clients in Benin Learn to Save

    Over the past month, I have been working with Kiva partner Alidé in Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin. I recently visited Henriette, one of Alidé’s long-standing clients. Henriette started out selling beverages on the side of the road, eventually opening a small shop in her home. After her husband died, she needed to find a way to expand her business so that she could continue to support…

    Posted by Jennifer Turner