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

    Creating Food Security in Liberia: The Work of The Universal Farmer's Association

    It is easy to notice that the majority of expatriates in Liberia live in a bubble, a world of security, running water, working toilets, electricity, and even air-conditioning and gyms for the lucky ones. What is harder to remain aware of is that Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city, itself lies in a bubble. Despite the lack of toilets and electricity for the vast majority, Monrovia is, by Liberian…

    Posted by Will Putnam

  2. Kiva Fellows Update

    It’s time to harvest: growing ginger on the Kenyan coast

    As a Kiva Fellow in Kenya, I have had the privilege to work with farmers from Kiva’s partner, Asante Foundation. It’s an exciting time right now, as farmers are harvesting their first ginger crop that they planted in April. One borrower I met was Juma, an experienced maize farmer and a father of three who took a risk this year to venture into ginger farming.    Juma with his ginger harvest. Juma…

    Posted by Maelen Haugen

  3. Kiva Fellows Update

    Connecting Liberia: How Wireless Technology Lab Is Helping Rural Liberians With Computer Awareness & Literacy Training To Access The Outside World

    Banjor Community is a wonderful area. It has friendly people, beautiful beaches, a gym, a golf course, the ruins of what was once West Africa’s largest hotel, over 160 schools, and now, thanks to Joseph Pambu, a computer lab and training program. The one thing this community lacks is electricity. Despite its location only a few miles from Liberian Electricity Corporation’s (LEC) headquarters,…

    Posted by Will Putnam

  4. Kiva Fellows Update

    The little cookstove that could: How ASA Initiative is helping bring green energy and jobs to Ghana

    One of the fun parts about a Kiva Fellowship is the chance to pick up new skills that may come in handy down the road. I’m happy to report that thanks to my work with Kiva partner ASA Initiative, I have not only mastered Clean Cookstoves 101 but can now add welding to my resume under “miscellaneous skills.” In addition to offering business and agriculture loans, ASA is leading efforts to…

    Posted by Susan Patterson

  5. Kiva Fellows Update

    Let’s hear it for the men

    I can still remember feeling overwhelmed the first time I made a Kiva loan. So many options, so many deserving Kiva borrowers — where to begin? I didn’t have a preference on region, country, or loan type, but I did know with certainty that I wanted to lend to a woman.      Microlending was developed to give the un- and under-banked access to capital; those too poor for a…

    Posted by Susan Patterson

  6. Kiva Fellows Update

    Reason to despair and reason to hope

    A wonderful night under the stars in the small village of Tiebele - thanks to new my best friend the mosquito net! I have explored the Macchu Picchu in Peru and witnessed the tranquil peace of temples in Bagan, Myanmar. I have visited the bustling city of Dhaka, Bangladesh and I have seen the breathtaking Ajmer Palace in India. But I’d never been to Africa. And never yet to a country that…

    Posted by Florence Lepelletier

  7. Kiva Fellows Update

    1 year Ebola free: Sierra Leone's Remarkable Recovery

    November 7th was the 1 year anniversary of the end of Ebola in Sierra Leone. Everyone in the streets stood still for 3 minutes at 11am to both remember and rejoice. From the usual comfort of our living rooms we witnessed the terror through attention grabbing headlines — “Ebola could strike 1.4 Million,” “The ISIS of biological agents,” “Ebola crisis on the same scale as Aids Epidemic,”…

    Posted by Ceejay Girard

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    Six Months After 7.8: ESPOIR and Kiva aid in Ecuador’s Earthquake Recovery Efforts

    Destruction in Chamanga, Manabi, Ecuador October 12, 2016 On April 16, 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake destroyed much of Manabí, Ecuador. The death toll was more than 600, with nearly 13,000 injured. Additionally, more than 26,000 people were forced into shelters or tent communities after losing their homes. But only weeks after the devastating disaster, Fundación ESPOIR had already sprung…

    Posted by Caitlin Jolley

  9. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Secret Garden: Uncovering mysteries at a Kiva borrower

    As a Kiva Fellow, each field visit to meet Kiva’s borrowers feels like an exciting, new experience! I compare it to reading a new book each time; and instead of starting at the beginning, you get to read the last page first. Today, I had the pleasure of visiting one of Kiva’s borrowers “Señora Carmen” at her farm in the idyllic Urquillos village in the Sacred Valley to see how her Kiva story…

    Posted by Janvi Gandhi

  10. Kiva Fellows Update

    Solar Energy in Cambodia: Cross-Sector Challenges in Engineering, Political Economy, Mobile Payments, and Microfinance

    Earlier this month, two of my colleagues from Kiva HQ in San Francisco visited me in Phnom Penh as a part of their annual Kiva Staff Partner visit. The purpose of the Kiva Staff Partner visits is to allow Kiva employees that are based in San Francisco and don’t have regular contact with the day-to-day operations of Kiva on-the-ground to reconnect to our mission by spending a week in the field…

    Posted by Omika Jikaria

  11. Kiva Fellows Update

    The power of needle and thread: How one Kiva borrower is helping the next generation

    Call it fate, divine intervention, or mere coincidence, life sometimes — quite unexpectedly — gives you exactly what you need at just the right time.   That was certainly the case for me last week after the U.S. elections. The results were not what I’d hoped for, and I found myself questioning, well, pretty much everything.   When I arrived at the office the next day, it was with…

    Posted by Susan Patterson

  12. Kiva Fellows Update

    Supporting Peru's diverse businesses: from bread to roofs

    Discovering the impact areas of Kiva's Field Partners (FP) is the most exciting part of my job as a Kiva fellow! Kiva’s FP Asociación Arariwa in Cusco - one of their oldest partners in the region - facilitates group loans. Their clients are spread out across the different communities in the Southern region of Peru.  We started early today to visit and verify a Kiva borrower in the town of…

    Posted by Janvi Gandhi

  13. Kiva Fellows Update

    Thank Goodness For Gratitude!

    As Thanksgiving approaches, I'm constantly reminded by all of Kiva's inspiring borrowers in Vietnam of what it means, and why it is essential to be grateful, despite one's hardships. I very rarely cry, but there was one borrower in particular that I met in Dien Bien province who brought me to tears with her gratitude. She showed a level of generosity, happiness, and overall appreciation for…

    Posted by Lisa DeMarco

  14. Kiva Fellows Update

    Of chickens and caterpillars - and the incredible hospitality of Burkinabe people

    October 2016. Three people, one car, and a long day ahead. For the first time of my fellowship here, I will be out of Ouagadougou, for the first time I will be meeting borrowers’ groups. And no less than 4 are scheduled today! I feel so excited to finally be out there meeting Kiva’s and Microstart’s borrowers! First borrowers' visit out in the field! Fast forward… October 2016, at the end of…

    Posted by Florence Lepelletier

  15. Kiva Fellows Update

    On Water, Dams and Self-reliance

    “We have very productive land here. We just need enough water to grow our crops” Irene said repeatedly as we were taking a tour of her farm in Kalamba, Kenya. Irene and her family’s primary business is managing their three-acre farm that sits in Makueni County in central Kenya. On their land, Irene grows a variety of crops including peas, tomatoes, maize and mangos. While the family has had…

    Posted by Sam Redlitz

  16. Kiva Fellows Update

    Once Upon a Midnight Eerie: How 5 Countries Celebrate the Day of the Dead

    Tattoos, t-shirts and elaborate sugar skulls have become increasingly popular in art and fashion, but do you know the cultural significance behind these intricate designs?   Dia de los Muertos—Day of the Dead—is a holiday celebrated throughout Latin America, though it is most strongly associated with Mexico, where the tradition originated. Assured that the dead would be insulted by…

    Posted by

  17. Kiva Fellows Update

    Beyond Borrowing in Dien Bien: Necessary Trainings for the Poorest of the Poor

    Knowledge is not just power for the poorest of the poor in Dien Bien province; Knowledge is necessary to maintain daily life and to be able to provide food and shelter for one's family, let alone climb out of poverty. In addition to microloans and savings accounts, Kiva's field partner, Entrepreneurs du Monde-Anh Chi Em ("ACE"), in Dien Bien provides the most vulnerable in Vietnam…

    Posted by Lisa DeMarco

  18. Kiva Fellows Update

    Peace Café: Coffee with a Mission

    Coffee options in Monrovia are limited. Nescafe is typically the go-to option. Coffee grounds are sold at supermarkets, but they don't come cheap. There is one store with local Liberian beans, but then you have to grind your beans before making coffee. Who has time for that? So far, I’ve resorted to reusing grounds that I brought from home. This at least gets me my morning kick. But what…

    Posted by Will Putnam

  19. Kiva Fellows Update

    Entrepreneur in Thanh Hoa Doubles Income, Creates Jobs with a Microloan for a Tofu Machine

    This is Mrs. Giang! Mrs. Giang has two children, a boy and a girl, who she has raised on her own since her husband passed away. She has been managing a successful tofu making and selling business in Thanh Hoa for eight years. Mrs. Giang recently applied for and received a Kiva loan to purchase an additional, newer, tofu making machine. Her old machine would constantly break and even when it did…

    Posted by Lisa DeMarco

  20. Kiva Fellows Update

    Entrepreneurship in Liberia: 1 --> n or 0 --> 1?

    When most people think of entrepreneurship in developing countries, they do not think of innovation. Even in cases of extreme growth, such as in China, most wealth and development comes from copying what has worked in other places in the past. This is what is known as 1 --> n innovation. No truly new ideas are required; one simply has to copy what has worked n times. 0 --> 1 innovation is…

    Posted by Will Putnam