Meeting borrowers may be the best part of being a Kiva Fellow. It's an incredibly enriching experience where we get to learn about the borrowers' lives; they all have businesses, homes, families, hopes, and dreams. Each of the dozens of farmers I met in Kenya had their own unique stories and here are a few of my favorites.
Benedate is an entrepreneurial farmer with a variety of income streams to support her six children including maize, beans, sweet potatoes, cassava, banana, dairy cows, sheep, and poultry. Her Kiva loan was used to build a greenhouse and she hopes to help her neighbors build similar projects on their farms.
Marcella purchased a dairy cow with her Kiva loan to supplement her income. Her mixed use farm is in a convenient location just a few minutes from the town of Nandi Hills. Her dream is to increase the size of her dairy herd and use the income to build rental houses in town.
Everlyne recently received five beehives through her Kiva loan and appreciates that beekeeping is a low maintenance activity. She plans to use the income from her next honey harvest to purchase food and clothes for her six children. Her dream is to open a private school with her husband who is a school teacher.
Rose purchased three beehives with her Kiva loan and hopes to have more in the future. Her three acre farm grows millet, maize, beans, and ground nuts and can potentially host many more beehives. Her dream is to earn enough money to pay for her grandchildren's education. Her oldest granddaugher is 19 years old and hopes to become a nurse.
Ann shares a 15 acre farm with her family and also employs some farmhands for assistance. Since she is getting older, she is planning for the future when she will become too old to handle the physical stresses of farming. Ann hopes beekeeping, operating a small business such as a food kiosk, and dairy and poultry production will become possible as she generates more income with the assistance of her five beehives.
There are hundreds of other Kenyan dreams like this on Kiva right now. Click here to check them out!