Favorite Moments from My Kiva Fellowship in Tanzania

As I finish my Kiva fellowship in Tanzania, I have mixed feelings.  I am excited to get back to New York with my friends and family but sad to leave the new friends and family I made in Tanzania.  I want to share some of my favorite memories / experiences.  I feel lucky to have had this opportunity to be a Kiva Fellow at Tujijenge and see microfinance in the field.  Below are some of my favorite memories from my Fellowship at Tujijenge Tanzania.

1) Meeting Borrowers
One of the reasons I left my job and became a Kiva Fellow was to see microfinance in action.  One of my favorite experiences was going out into the field and meeting clients, learning about their businesses, and how the loan changed their lives.

Zaituni - a Kiva Borrower

Nasra - a Kiva Borrower

2) Working at Tujijenge
The staff welcomed me with open arms and helped me with anything from getting home to getting around.  I was able to participate in the entire loan process from disbursing loans to going out with a loan officer for repayments.  Thank you Tujijenge !

Me with Rita (Kiva Coordinator) and Yessaya (KC Assistant)

3) Weekends in Dar
There were always beaches to go to or social events and festivals to attend.  The city is hot, but there are a lot of nice escapes nearby

Local Island you can take a boat to and they serve fresh lobster

Indian Festival I attended with some friends

4.  Village Life
     I enjoyed getting out of the big city to see the villages and how people live.
Market in Tanzania

A village outside of Dar in the afternoon

 Daily Life / Street Scene

Fish Market in Mwanza

6)  Safari
  I went on a 5 day safari in the Seregenti and Nogororo Crater with my husband and family


7) Zanzibar
 Zanzibar is a beautiful island only 30 miles from mainland Tanzania.  I spent 4 days there after my safari.

8)  Work Trip to the Lake Zone
Yessaya and I spent a week training Tujijenge staff in the Lake Zone on Kiva.  It was great to see another area of Tanzania, meet the staff there, and eat a lot of fish.  The Lake is famous for its Tilapia.  There are now loans on Kiva.org for those 2 branches based on our work.  I also checked a bucket of fish on a plane just like it was luggage - a memorable experience

Lake Victoria

Tujijenge Musoma office

My bucket of fish with the other luggage

9) Holiday Travel
Over the Christmas and New Year Holiday I took a trip to Ethiopia and then met up with my husband for New Year's in the Seychelles

Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia

St George Rock Church Lalibela, Ethiopia

Castles in Gondar, Ethiopia

Hike to a Beach in the Seychelles


10)  My last Day as a Kiva Fellow in Tanzania 
The staff at Tujijenge arranged a goodbye party.  They presented me with a beautiful wood piece of art and fabric from a local market.  We had cake and a soda.   After only 4 months I was suprised at everything we had accomplished and how I had become part of the team.  I will miss woking with everyone and coming to the office daily, but I know I am always welcome back.   As they say in Tanzania "Karibu" - welcome.

Last day Party
Gift from Tujijenge

About the author

Katie Kerr

Katie is from Lexington, Kentucky and currently lives in New York City. She is passionate about travelling and is always planning her next adventure. After completing a bachelor’s degree in Business, Katie worked in London and Australia and led outdoor adventure trips for teenagers around the globe. Before moving to NYC, she worked at the 2006 Olympics, volunteered in Guatemala on a sustainable development project, and spent a year in France during graduate school. While in graduate school, as part of her dual MBA / Diplomacy degree, she was introduced to microfinance and has been searching for ways to stay involved and learn more. KF22 is the perfect answer! Katie currently participates in the LEADers program with Women’s World Banking and had the opportunity to travel to Ghana in 2011 to meet with the central bank, local regulators, and clients of WWB network institutions. For the last 6 years, Katie has worked at Bank of America focusing the last 3 years on Liquidity Risk. Katie has been to over 50 countries and is excited for a new adventure in Tanzania. She is looking forward to the opportunity to apply her experience to help alleviate poverty.