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

    Bagururu or bust: My day in a Dagomba village

    There are not many things I will get up at 4:30 a.m. for, but as it turns out, the chance to attend a Dagomba Outdooring ceremony is one of them. I had been invited by my housemate, a former Peace Corps volunteer who has lived in Ghana for seven years. A week earlier a new baby had been born to her host family, so when she invited me to spend a day in the village, I jumped at the chance.…

    Posted by susan.patterson@fellows.kiva.org

  2. Kiva Fellows Update

    ¡Viva la Educación! Dominican students invest in their future with Kiva loans

    As a Kiva Fellow in the Dominican Republic, I had the distinct pleasure of working with FUNDAPEC (the funding arm of Action for Education and Culture) and getting to know some of the students it supports. FUNDAPEC has been expanding access to education for nearly 50 years, lending to over 100,000 students since its founding in 1967.  Based on its long-standing positive reputation countrywide,…

    Posted by Abigail Bates

  3. Kiva Fellows Update

    Video Blog: 10 things I wish I knew before college

    (YouTube link below) Over the last four months, I have been serving as a Fellow with the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), a Kiva field partner in Kyrgyzstan. AUCA is an education loan field partner through which students in need of financial aid are supported with $1,100 USD loans by Kiva lenders. A 4.5 year grace period and 0% interest makes this loan product unique. A key piece…

    Posted by Priya Singh

  4. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Forgotten Pearl of the Antilles

    When the French colonizers settled in the Hispaniola Island, they called Haiti “La Perle des Antilles.” Once you spend enough time in the country, you will find that there is a good reason for calling it as such. For anyone who visits Haiti for the first time, they will be shocked by their first impressions while driving from the airport to the hotel: the narrow and overcrowded streets, the…

    Posted by Alonso Espinoza

  5. Kiva Fellows Update

    Clean energy for Kenya

    Clean energy is a huge need for rural farmers in Kenya. Only 23% of Kenyans are connected to the grid, leaving the majority of the country without access to electricity. And when 85% of the population lives in rural areas, creating that access is not an easy task. Kiva’s partner, Juhudi Kilimo is well known in Kenya for providing agricultural loans to lift rural farmers out of poverty, (such as…

    Posted by Maelen Haugen

  6. Kiva Fellows Update

    Inspirational loan officers, a budding college student, and lots of rain – must be a BV in the bateyes of La Romana, Dominican Republic

    Sugarcane being transported for planting during the off season After a couple of months in the capital of Santo Domingo, I headed to La Romana to visit a more rural branch office of Esperanza, one of Kiva’s partners in the Dominican Republic. For a little less than two weeks, I worked with the exceptionally welcoming La Romana staff to conduct a Borrower Verification (BV), an audit to ensure…

    Posted by Abigail Bates

  7. Kiva Fellows Update

    Pokémon Go: The colliding of two worlds

    2016 can officially be crowned the Year of Nostalgia. The evidence is clear. This year, 20 years after opening their first case, Scully and Mulder have returned to help us answer the age old question- “Aliens or nah?”. Blink 182 transported us back to the years of our teenage angst with their new album that debuted at number one. And let’s not forget, Clinton is running for president… What year…

    Posted by Maelen Haugen

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    Crocodiles, Coffee and Collective Impact

    A view overlooking the coast of Dili (the capital of Timor-Leste) What could crocodiles, coffee and collective impact possibly have in common (other than some ingenious alliteration)? As a Kiva fellow, I spent a month in Timor Leste (East Timor) and found that these three things offer a taste of Timor through their importance in the past, present and future of the country.  First off, let’s…

    Posted by Roshni Khurana

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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, Hostelrefuge.com, etc. While browsing…

    Posted by Cooper Fitzgerald

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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