Update from the Field: Motorcycles, Ramadan + A Dollar a Day

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

'This week in the field, Fellows share some candid insights on life and microcredit in-country. You can ride on Carolyn’s motorcycle in Rwanda; pass through impoverished neighborhoods of Managua, Nicaragua; measure the impact of Ramadan on a nation’s micro-enterprises; take a look at the real inter-workings of a “needs test” in Cameroon, and begin to explain what microfinanceis in Lebanon, or anywhere for that matter. Fellows teach us that whether life moves fast or slow (or maybe feels as though it’s been put on ‘pause’) micro-businesses are alive, alert and moving forward.

One Dollar Per Day – A Beginner’s Guide (Part 1)
Country: Nicaragua / Fellow: Jason Jones, KF15

Jason Jones takes on the “Dollar a Day” question in Managua, Nicaragua and sees that living on a dollar means more than just a diet, and clean bill of health, and the work of a community.

Kigali Life
Country: Rwanda / Fellow: Carolyn Nold, KF15

Riding to work on the back of a motorcycle, meeting with incredible and intuitive Kiva entrepreneurs, and keeping the camera rolling the entire time; Carolyn shares an incredible video of her daily life in Rwanda.

Too Crude? Or Just, Reality
Country: Cameroon / Fellow: Faith Garlington, K15

Faith gives us a straightfoward insider’s perspective of GHAPE’s (Grounded and Holistic Approach for People’s Empowerment) Basic Needs Tests for its clients in Cameroon.

“What do I do Here in Lebanon?” you ask
Country: Lebanon / Fellow: Heba Gamal, KF15

How does one explain microfinance in Arabic (التمويل الأصغر, or small funding)? Heba explores the question of spreading awareness of “microfinance,” and how an organization can promote its work in an environmental that’s unaware of microfinance.

Ramadan Kareem from the Middle East!
Country: Jordan / Fellow: Amy Kyleen Lute, KF15

As Ramadan began this August in the Muslim world, KIEDF (Kiva’s Israeli microfinance partner in Jordan) borrowers’ business are impacted by the synchronized actions of an entire population. Amy Kyleen discusses impacts in supply, demand, and repayments, and her own daily life in Jordan.

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Updates from the past month:

Working Animals, Green Microfinance + The Ends of the Earth
Externalities, New Faces + Loans that Change Lives
Dangerous Streets, New Vocabulary + A Senegalese Spring
Zulu Weddings, More Country-Specific Microfinance + Fighting Crime

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Plus more pictures (and videos!) from the past week:

Common Latrine in Northwest Cameroon

Cameroon, by Faith Garlington

Nicaragua, by Jason Jones

Jordan, by Amy Klyeen Lute

About the author

Kate Bennett

Prior to working with Kiva, Kate lived in Quito, Ecuador working in environmental management as a consultant for USAID implementing partners in the global south. After earning her B.A. in Political Economy, Postcolonial History, and Development from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in January 2010, she pursued a practice-based understanding of effective tools in development through work with New York based social change organizations and grassroots nonprofit organizations in Guatemala. Kate worked previously with Kiva as a Kiva Fellow in Ecuador and Peru, which fomented her commitment to microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation.