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

    Kivan Hobbies & Habits

    Fellows are introducing old and new routines, hobbies and habits in their new environment. Here is what they are up to! Trishna- India   Something Old: Sticking to my Colorado roots I have continued my love for the outdoors and hiking by joining trekking groups in Bangalore. Trekking groups here are fantastic because they arrange the location, transportation, and food for the day so…

    Posted by Trishna Patel

  2. Kiva Blog Update

    Volunteer Spotlight: “I feel so lucky to be able to do this work.”

    All over the world, Review and Translation Program (RTP) volunteers dedicate their time and skills to ensure that the thousands of loans that come in from Kiva’s partners are edited and translated from our five key languages: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Russian. In the past three months alone, RTP volunteers have reviewed 47,529 loans, averaging over 15,000 loans per month. They…

    Posted by Kelsey Renz

  3. Kiva Fellows Update

    Can a cow beat the Dow? Measuring the financial impact of a Kiva loan

    In December 2007, two things happened almost simultaneously: 1.) I enrolled in a Finance and Applied Mathematics dual-degree program at the University of Auckland and; 2.) Financial markets all over the world crashed overnight This naturally meant that my entire tertiary education revolved around the recession. I spent many nights using the benefit of hindsight to build financial models that…

    Posted by Priya Singh

  4. Kiva Blog Update

    Keeping traditions alive and reaching remote communities in Cambodia

    This is part of our series celebrating the unifying spirit of the Summer Games. Cambodia is one of 28 Kiva countries that have never won a medal, so we’re rallying to show our support through loans this month! Team Kiva for the win! Situated between Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia is a small, compact country of mostly flat and forested land: Cambodia. This beautiful country is home…

    Posted by Natalie Brown

  5. Kiva Blog Update

    Single moms, seniors among the entrepreneurs renewing El Salvador

    This is part of our series celebrating the unifying spirit of the summer games. El Salvador is one of 28 Kiva countries that have never won a medal, so we’re rallying to show our support through loans this month! Team Kiva for the win!   Nestled in the mountains of Central America is the smallest but most densely populated country in the region, El Salvador. Home to more than 6 million…

    Posted by Alicia Fan

  6. Kiva Fellows Update

    Disclaimer: you will learn nothing of microfinance or Kiva by reading this blog – you may however have a chuckle on my behalf

    I am writing this blog from a cafe in Jaen, Peru. By my estimation I am the only white person in the entire city. I’ve come to this conclusion on account of not seeing anyone overtly non-Peruvian and being regularly stared at with great skepticism. Obviously, I have no qualms about being in such a scenario – it’s simply something I have never experienced. The first month and a half of my…

    Posted by Cooper Fitzgerald

  7. Kiva Fellows Update

    By the numbers: Sistema Biobolsa is ahead of the curve on what matters most

    As a Kiva Fellow on my own in a new country, I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts. One of which, the Marketplace Tech podcast, has a game called Silicon Tally. Every week on Silicon Tally, the host and a guest try to guess the significance of numbers from that week’s tech news headlines that have been stripped from their context. Here’s my version, Mexico Tally, with this week’s focus on Sistema…

    Posted by Catherine Wright

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    Karibus and Kwaheris: Spotlight on Tujijenge Staff, Yessaya Lyimo

    Standing at a whopping 6 feet 2 inches tall, with kind eyes and a warm, toothy grin, Yessaya Lyimo is quite the presence in any room. He is the first person I met in Tanzania, and has probably been the most influential in making my time here a safe, engaging, and enjoyable one. Yessaya at this desk in the office   Since the moment he spotted me (not a difficult task, but hey) in the steamy…

    Posted by Katie Hoselton

  9. Kiva Blog Update

    Cool new partners: Providing growth, energy and vision around the world

    Our partners are located all over the world, working to create change in the communities where they’re based. Whether it’s helping social businesses get a leg up to solve social and environmental problems, providing solar power to small rural communities in Nepal, or bringing vision to those in need wherever they may be, the work done by our partners is having a positive and unique impact on…

    Posted by Natalie Brown

  10. Kiva Fellows Update

    New generation of empowered women in Tajikistan show the way forward

    Last month I had an opportunity to meet two Kiva borrowers in Khujand, Tajikistan’s second largest city, a city with a long and rich history. Both borrowers are young and ambitious women. Both of their loans were facilitated by one of Kiva’s partners in the country, IMON International. Mavjuda, who just turned 20, is currently studying in a medical school with a dream of becoming a midwife and…

    Posted by Oleg Izyumenko

  11. Kiva Blog Update

    Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills, is forging new opportunities for entrepreneurs

    This is part of our series celebrating the unifying spirit of the summer games. Rwanda is one of 28 Kiva countries that have never won a medal, so we’re rallying to show our support through loans this month! Team Kiva for the win! The games represent the ultimate test of physical strength, speed and ability. But underneath the sweaty, muscled exterior lies something even more critical…

    Posted by Hope Kerpelman

  12. Kiva Fellows Update

    Kiva Fellow friendships from the field

    I can’t read anything. That was the first daunting realisation that hit me as my airport shuttle found a spot in Bishkek’s morning traffic jam. Before moving to Kyrgyzstan as a Kiva Fellow, I had not lived and worked in a country where the official language was not english. In the capital, Bishkek, russian is widely spoken while the native, kyrgyz is prominent in the south. When you’re traveling…

    Posted by Priya Singh

  13. Kiva Fellows Update

    What A Wonderful Weave!: How me, weaves, and neoclassical economics came together in Tanzania

    I arrived in Dar es Salaam in early June, a hot and sweaty mess, after 24 hours of flying time. It is my first time on the continent, meaning that every sight, smell, and experience is a new one for me. This has thus far made for an incredibly interesting, challenging, but ultimately enriching experience. While I have had moments where I have questioned my decision to embark on this journey…

    Posted by Katie Hoselton

  14. Kiva Fellows Update

    Not to evoke partisan sentiments, but seriously, let’s share the wealth

    In anticipation of my fellowship in Peru, I hopped on the computer and began taking a look at potential living situations. All fellowships carry a certain level of ambiguity with them, so signing month-long leases generally doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Fellows are frequent visitors of temporary housing sites such as Couchingsurfing, Airbnb, Homeaway,, etc. While browsing…

    Posted by Cooper Fitzgerald

  15. Kiva Blog Update

    Clean energy provides relief and hope in Yemen

    On summer days, the temperature in Al Hudaydah, Yemen often reaches 100 degrees by 9 in the morning, with barely a hint of a breeze coming off the bathwater-like Red Sea nearby. The scorching heat in this coastal city, and in much of the country, is all the more unbearable for the majority of Yemeni families who have to make do without electricity to power fans, lights or other essential…

    Posted by Kate Griesemer

  16. Kiva Blog Update

    Links we like: May the future be brighter

    Clean energy: We need to reach sustainability and Elon Musk has a plan. Music for your soul: A cellist copes with tragedy the best way he knows how.   To the stars: Farming solar power from space.   Through their eyes: 100 cameras were given to homeless people, this is what they saw.   Perspective shift: The other side of famous landmarks. Startup…

    Posted by Aurora Lee

  17. Kiva Fellows Update

    Unstoppable women “Les Madans Sara”

    Outside of Haiti, little is known about these amazing and courageous women who oftentimes put their lives at risk every day to provide a better future for their families. A “Madan Sara” is a businesswoman who will travel to rural regions in the country to buy local goods and bring them to the city markets to sell. Normally, we find two types of Madans Sara: those who are wholesalers and those…

    Posted by Alonso Espinoza

  18. Kiva Fellows Update

    Carbon Credits & Chlorine Dispensers: An Alternative Repayment Strategy

    The majority of Kenyans in rural areas are completely reliant on natural sources for all of their water needs; this includes bathing, washing clothes, cooking, and drinking. Unfortunately, these sources of water are in no way purified or fit for human consumption. Therefore, before it can be consumed, the water must be boiled to kill bacteria. This is an arduous process that not only requires…

    Posted by Doug Brainard

  19. Kiva Fellows Update

    Habiba’s wish: to see Tajikistan prosper

    It is the fifth and last Kiva borrower visit for the day. It is something that we, Kiva Field Fellows, do as part of our placement with microfinance institutions (MFI) around the world. A dusty and bumpy rural road brings us to the village where Habiba, a 52-years old school teacher, lives. A loan officer from one of Kiva’s three partner organisations in Tajikistan, Microcredit and Deposit…

    Posted by Oleg Izyumenko

  20. Kiva Blog Update

    Growing big dreams on a tiny rooftop field

    Katrina and Keely first met in the summer of 2013 while working on open space greening projects in Brooklyn, N.Y., and bonded instantly over urban farming and pop culture. After many discussions on the frustrations of finding financially sustainable jobs in urban agriculture, they decided the best solution was to start a project for themselves. In 2015, the two joined forces to start Tinyfield…

    Posted by Rachel Getz