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

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Kiva Fellows Update

    Life on the River in Indonesia

    Tangerang is a large satellite city on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia. It is a beautiful place - very green and lush, with several rivers winding through its many rural villages. I spent 3 weeks working with KSPPS BMI, one of Kiva’s microfinance partners that operates in the region. A view overlooking the lush greenery of Tangerang During my time there, I quickly realized that the river was…

    Posted by Roshni Khurana

  6. Kiva Fellows Update

    Rural Microloans 2.0: A Mexican Social Enterprise Revamps its Credit Program

    Sistema Biobolsa's Credit Coordinator, Irene, with Don Antonio, a proud owner of a biodigester (featured in the background). Click here to lend to farmers like Don Antonio. On a Tuesday night one month ago I arrived in Mexico City, welcomed by a massive down pour (summer is the rainy season here). By that Thursday afternoon, I was attempting to define key metrics for a credit program in Spanish…

    Posted by Catherine Wright

  7. Kiva Fellows Update

    Meet the Spice Girls

    In the deep south of India there are two Kiva borrower groups that are the hot topic amongst villagers. After spending a part of my day with them, I have dubbed them the Spice Girls. Unlike Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger, and Posh Spice in the 1990s, Sindhu and Uma's groups are gaining notoriety in their respective villages not for their vocal talent but for their masala powder packet business.…

    Posted by Trishna Patel

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    12 Days in Uganda Without Running Water

    The first partner that I worked with as part of my Kiva Fellowship was a small group called YICE (Youth Initiative for Community Engagement). They are headquartered in the village of Kyakatebe (Pronounced Jak-a-te-be) within the sub-county of Nalutuntu within the district of Mubende, Uganda. This village is located about 2 hours west of the capital, Kampala. YICE is a small partner that provides…

    Posted by Doug Brainard

  9. Kiva Fellows Update

    MSG is #1!

    My MSG Combi Choir Travelling down a bumpy gravel road in Guruve district I wasn’t sure if I had heard that quite right. “MSG is #1?” Yes, I definitely did hear that. The confirmation coming loud and clear as it was belted out repeatedly at full harmonious volume by a joyous choir of ten mothers and grandmothers dressed in their brightly coloured finest clothes and all packed into the back of…

    Posted by Oliver Friedmann

  10. Kiva Fellows Update

    Kiva, Camfed and Cama - A Transformational Partership

    Cecilia used a part of her loan to buy seen and fertilizer for her farm and operate a tuck shopJoyce supplies all the meat and produce from her own farm for the take away restaurant she opened with her second Kiva loanCamfed supported women continuing their education to become teachers My fellowship with Kiva began with a three month assignment to the Kiva field partner Camfed Zimbabwe…

    Posted by Oliver Friedmann

  11. Kiva Fellows Update

    Social Enterprise in Madagascar: Tackling Sanitation and Energy Challenges

    You may know that Kiva not only partners with Microfinance institutions, but also with schools, associations, and social enterprises. Given my keenness for learning about different social enterprise models, I was stoked to find out that as part of my Fellowship, I was tasked with finding leads for new potential Kiva partners in Madagascar. This gave me the chance to meet (dropping Kiva’s name in…

    Posted by Andreanne Yaghi

  12. Kiva Fellows Update

    A first Fellow’s tales from the fields of Madagasikara

    View of a surrounding village of Antsirabe, Madagascar Madagascar is one of Kiva’s newest territory and I am the lucky first Fellow to ever work in the country and visit Vahatra, Kiva’s Field Partner in Antsirabe. Vahatra’s mission is to improve the living conditions of poor families living on less than two dollars a day by promoting and assisting with the development of their economic and…

    Posted by Andreanne Yaghi

  13. Kiva Fellows Update

    Friday the 13th - Kiva NYC Got Inked

    The Kiva NYC Team went to Bed-Stuy Brooklyn to visit Abuela’s Tattoo and got inked for their Friday the 13th Sale!   Mandi and Sam took out a loan for Myrtle Tattoo Ink Parlor (renamed: Abuela’s Tattoo) at the beginning of last year. Soon after, they secured a space to provide local artists with supplies and a clean working environment. Though they were busy, we had a chance to…

    Posted by Heidi Heung

  14. Kiva Fellows Update

    Masterful Mujeres: 3 Entrepreneurial Colombian Women

    After visiting over 20 Kiva borrowers throughout Colombia, I have met many different people – young, experienced, women, men, city-dwellers, rural farmers, and so on. Although each one of my visits has been unique, one thing remains constant: every borrower I have met has been impressively entrepreneurial and tenacious. I leave every visit feeling inspired and humbled not only by what the…

    Posted by Abigail Bates

  15. Kiva Fellows Update

    "My Love" in Mozambique

    You probably know more Mozambican Portuguese than you realize… After first landing in Maputo three months ago, my jet-lagged brain strained to understand the small talk with my taxi driver. He excused himself as he answered his phone and said “Estou busy no meu job, brother.” Baffled, I realized I understood what he was saying not because of my Brazilian-Portuguese background, but because…

    Posted by Julian Guelig

  16. Kiva Fellows Update

    Transporting Good

    Eric Jarvis’ story doesn't start and surely won't end with Kiva.   I guess the first thing I can say about Eric before getting into this whole thing is that he is one of the most inspiring and hard working people I've had the privilege of meeting.  I first spoke to Eric Jarvis on the phone sometime in the middle of March when he was well behind getting his required number of people…

    Posted by Chris Brew

  17. Kiva Fellows Update

    Do you know who made your kids’ school uniforms?

    Xaverine is the answer you will most likely get in Nyamasheke, a remote village in west Rwanda. Xaverine and her knitting machine The mother of eight taught herself how to use the knitting machine four years ago in the hopes of bringing in additional income to her large family. She has now secured contracts with local schools to knit the blue and white striped sweaters for all the village…

    Posted by Sandra Ool

  18. Kiva Fellows Update

    Day in the Life of a Kiva Fellow: Borrower Verifications

    There is a wide array of tasks a fellow can be assigned during one's time in the field. One task I have found most meaningful is "Borrower Verifications," more affectionately known as BVs at Kiva. Most fellows traded in corporate offices/cubes to serve with Kiva; seeing BV on your work plan is a guaranteed change in scenery (literally) from office cubical walls to the beauty of being in the…

    Posted by Ran Fan

  19. Kiva Fellows Update

    End of Fellowship Reflection: Top Wins

    As I bid a bittersweet farewell to new friends and my Rwandan home, I reflect on a truly remarkable six months and my top 5 wins as a Kiva Fellow: 1. Navigating Kigali like a pro. The streets of a new city can be very confusing, especially to a directionally challenged person such as me. Compared to the well-organized grid system of NYC where I lived before, Kigali streets spool around…

    Posted by Ran Fan

  20. Kiva Fellows Update

    Solar in Senegal: A Kiva Partner Expands its Impact

    Imagine for a moment that you live in a village with no electricity.  When the sun goes down each evening, you rely on the light of fires or flashlights as you cook your evening meal. Your children must study before the sun goes down, or else use the dimly glowing light of a cell phone to illuminate their work. And speaking of cell phones, the only way to charge yours is to travel to a…

    Posted by Anneka Nelson