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 ...

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,

Women weavers, entrepreneurs find strength in numbers in Guatemala

This is the first 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. In a rural community near Tecpan, Guatemala, live 9 women with unique businesses, ranging from weaving to agriculture, who joined together to create the le ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Growing a business and caring for a family, from a refugee camp

This is the second 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. Najah, whose name means “Success” in Arabic, comes from a Bedouin background and is now a successful business woman herself. She raises sheep and goat ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Two sisters in Cambodia building on each other’s success

This is the third 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. Siem Khut has been farming rice in her rural village in the Kampong Cham province of Cambodia since she was 10 years old. She “feels like an expert now

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

How do you measure a year? In Kiva Love

It’s been an incredible year here at Kiva, thanks to the passion and continued support of lenders like you. The Kiva community backed more than 320,000 borrowers in 83 countries in 2015, and enabled Kiva to add new Field Partners around the world, from Madagascar to Brazil to the Philippines. Check out more Kiva highlights, and beautiful photos, in our 2015 year in review.

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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    Rwanda: Olive thinks we should all have an omelette for breakfast!

    Olive is only 24 years old but has already seen her business grow from strength to strength. What is the secret to her success? Eggs! Olive showing off her stock Three years ago, only 21 at the time, Olive started selling rice and vegetables at the market. Two years later she had managed to save up enough profits and take out a Kiva loan to set up her own wholesale business selling eggs. Eggs…

    Posted by Sandra Ool

  9. Kiva Fellows Update

    Agnes: an inspiration from Masindi, Uganda

    In my first 2 months in Uganda, I’ve met some incredible borrowers. I’m preparing to highlight these inspiring stories shortly. But before I do that, I have a tangent story. This might be a little unusual but… Agnes, my feature profile for this blog post, is not a borrower. She is a mother, sister, student, and a bad-ass woman. And the Branch Manager of the Masindi branch of Hofokam (the partner…

    Posted by Sravya Yeleswarapu

  10. Kiva Fellows Update

    Upcycled Couture Hits Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

    During my recent visits with borrowers from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo (FMSD), a Kiva Field Partner based in the Coastal Region of Colombia, I was fortunate enough to meet Miriam, an innovative craftsperson, mother of two, and vivacious conversationalist. Miriam has officially been in business making handbags, skirts, hair accessories, and other products for about 20 years in Cartagena de…

    Posted by Abigail Bates

  11. Kiva Fellows Update

    Hiuchol art and traditions: The story of Micaela

    Mexico is peculiar in its cultural richness due to its variety of ethnical groups, in history there have been among 60 diverse indigenous people that speak about 100 different native languages. A particular group that has transcended and managed to preserve its traditions and essence are the Waxaritaris, commonly known as Huicholes. They are originally from the state of San Luis Potosí but…

    Posted by Ana Paula Gil Armendariz

  12. Kiva Fellows Update

    For these Costa Rican leaders, supporting other women is personal

    “She was always fighting for women.” So said Elsa of her late mother, Lilliam. Elsa’s mom was a fierce advocate for women in their community of Upala, an agricultural zone in the northern region of Costa Rica. Elsa is now following in her mother’s footsteps, leading a local credit union that lends to, and is run by, only women. It is called Efecu. Efecu is one of the local organizations that…

    Posted by Michaela Ross

  13. Kiva Fellows Update

    The innovative women of Rwanda

    The borrowers who I find most inspirational are the ones who go the extra mile to innovate in the hope of achieving a more sustainable income for themselves and their families. However, this commitment usually requires more up front capital than a Rwandan household has available. That is where Kiva’s field partner Urwego Opportunity Bank comes into play, as it seeks out the innovative women of…

    Posted by Sandra Ool

  14. Kiva Fellows Update

    Ghana: A study in lunch starches.

    For those of you who have never had Ghanian cuisine (and I'm sure there are many of you) there are three main things you should know about Ghanian cuisine: It is mostly starch (rice/plantain/cassava/maize/yam etc) The portions are large enough to feed a small army I don’t love it The main component of Ghanaian dishes is the starch, and there are not many vegetables.  Starch…

    Posted by Marybeth Harbison

  15. Kiva Fellows Update

    A Story of a Talented Borrower of Kashf Foundation- Pakistan

    Rizwana Tabbasum with her products displayedYesterday, during visiting last client of Kiva’s partner, ‘Kashf foundation’ for Borrower Verification Process.  I visited an other Kiva client home, Rizwana Tabasum. Though she was not included in my BV list, I felt fortunate to have a meeting & greeting with this simple lady. After walking from a very congested street of Haripur village, Pakistan,…

    Posted by Ramish Chohan

  16. Kiva Fellows Update

    Impressive Empresas: 5 Things I Learned from a Week with Panamanian Credit Unions

    This week I had the privilege of visiting many Kiva borrowers in the Chiriquí province of Panama. It is a rich area made up of beautiful coast, steep mountains, plentiful farmland, and abundant rainbows. A giant rainbow in the skies over Chiriquí, Panama In Panama, Kiva loans are disbursed through a local partner organization (named EDESA) to local credit unions, which in turn give loans to…

    Posted by Michaela Ross

  17. Kiva Fellows Update

    Borrower Visits in Chorkor

    Last week I met the ladies of Sorlimor Group in Chorkor, an overpopulated fishing area in Greater Accra.  After numerous tro tros (three in two hours!) the loan officer and I finally arrived at the meeting spot (for more information on tro tros; what they are and what it is like riding them, see Kadri’s blog entry here). At the moment, I am working with ID Ghana (a Microfinance institution that…

    Posted by Marybeth Harbison

  18. Kiva Fellows Update

    Bem-vindo a Moçambique

    I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and ended up in the wonderful world of Maputo, Mozambique.  Forgetting my old routine and relearning the spicy, Mozambican way of things.  Women harvest a piri piri pepper field outside of Maputo I was on my first placement in Brazil when I found out I would be going to Mozambique. I began to eagerly dream about my future life in Africa, a new continent for…

    Posted by Julian Guelig

  19. Kiva Fellows Update

    My Senegalese Valentine’s Day: A Half-Marathon in Dakar

    A Senegalese man – early twenties, I’d guess – has been running silently beside me for the last three miles as the sun pounds down on us.  He’s wearing a long-sleeved jacket and a drawstring backpack and given that I sweat through my tank top miles ago, I am in awe. As we near the end of the race it becomes apparent that I might place so he begins clearing a path for me to accelerate…

    Posted by Anneka Nelson

  20. Kiva Fellows Update

    Kiva Fellow Superpowers

    In the movie Taken Liam Neeson says, “I don’t have money.  But what I do have is a set of very particular skills that makes me a nightmare for someone like you.”  Kiva is about altruism, not vengeance, but our Fellows are just as skilled (in a non-violent way) as any ex-spy.   Many people assume that all foreign travel is basically a beach vacation, and anyone could do it if they just had the…

    Posted by Gordon Thompson