Posts filed under ‘KF14 (Kiva Fellows 14th Class)’

Agriculture Loans: What Makes Them So Different?

Agriculture loans are considerably different products than most micro loans. Agriculture loans include unique risks and potentially higher costs of servicing. In this article, Adam Cohn explains those differences, and how Kiva and Kiva lenders like you can help out poor farmers in Rwanda.

Continue Reading 16 September 2011 at 12:00 2 comments

Updates from the Field: Loan Sharks, Snapshots + “the Country with a Smile”

Each Kiva borrower enjoys his or her own borrower profile page. We’ve all seen these pages: they acquaint us with the borrower’s story, plans for the future, country, and a photo in their business or home. Borrower profiles present us with a clear snapshot of the ebbs and flows of a borrower’s life. But how can we begin to flesh out what’s beyond the edges of the screen? On the Fellow’s blog, of course!

This week Kiva Fellows bring us a little closer to our borrowers. We try to walk in the shoes of those living under a dollar a day in Nicaragua. We learn about the power of accredited microfinance institutions for the average Ecuadorian. We get a glimpse (and a sample!) of traditional El Salvadorian fare. We marvel at brilliant images of borrowers in their element in Chile and Colombia. And finally we depart Latin America for Senegal, where a Latin phrase can teach us about entrepreneurs the world over: they can, because they think they can. And they do, just as soon as they have the capital to do it.

Continue Reading 29 August 2011 at 02:00 8 comments

The Top 10: My favorite borrower photos from Colombia and Chile

Kiva Fellows come from a vast variety of backgrounds, both in regards to their professional experience and hobbies. When the Kiva Fellows Program Team is trying to decide where to send people they try to decide what MFIs would benefit most from that fellow’s individual experience, and also what special projects they can work on to benefit Kiva’s mission and/or the MFI. As part of my fellowship i was asked to help add to Kiva’s library of borrower images, which are used for marketing and communications purposes by Kiva. With camera in hand I have set out to take some simple portraits of clients in their homes and businesses. Here are 10 of my favorite from both Chile and Colombia, hope you enjoy them!

Continue Reading 23 August 2011 at 11:39 7 comments

Update from the Field: Externalities, New Faces + Loans that Change Lives

Microfinance is about change- positive change for borrowers, their local economies, and the future of the developing world. This week our Fellows share stories of change across the globe: a brighter outcome for the children of Kiva borrowers in Sierra Leone; transformed businesses and microenterprises in Chile; and a lifestyle of adapting to change, for better or worse, in Lebanon, where resolute entrepreneurs still pay their loans on time.

It’s true what they say- these really are Loans that Change Lives.

Continue Reading 18 July 2011 at 03:08 5 comments

Update from the Field: Unsung Heroes, Community Alliances + and Mission Statements Made Reality

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field: Fixing the chain on the way to a repayment meeting in Haiti. Poor roads thwart borrowers and MFI loan officers alike.

This week in the field fellows across the world explore the factors that make microfinance and its successes a reality. In Kenya, we meet the actors who reach out to borrowers everyday, at any and all degrees of their own discomfort. In Nicaragua, we discover that high aspirations can be met with equally powerful results. In Senegal, a series of well-dressed strangers introduce us to the rest of the community, and the lesson that any organization seeking to serve the community must truly know the community. Between Colombia, Haiti and the Dominican Republic we gain insight about the pros, cons, and the conditions for success in microfinance. Throughout these stories, we’re led into homes, gardens and local festivals; down roads, rivers, and a few wrong turns; and we ultimately reach our destination: a deeper understanding of how- or really, through who and what- this work is made possible.

Nathan’s Office
Country: Kenya / Fellow: Nila Uthayakumar (KF15)
“It takes humility and tremendous patience to do the work that they do. A sense of humor is essential.” Nila sings the praise of the unsung heroes of microfinance: the loan officers.

A Rainy Day in Masaya
Country: Nicaragua / Fellow: Jason Jones (KF15)
How often does an organization’s mission statement really meet reality? Jason Jones finds that for his partner in Nicaragua and borrowers like Maura, Gloria, and Adelfa, lofty goals are realized everyday.

Kiva in the Community
Country: Senegal / Fellow: Tim Young (KF15)
As Tim Young begins to settle himself within his community, he learns that an microfinance institution’s presence in the local community must be deeply embedded as well.

The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field (A Three-Part Series)
Country: Colombia / Fellow: Nick Hamilton (KF14)
Part One of this through three-part series considers the strengths and benefits of microfinance. Part Two part two weighs its drawbacks and weaknesses. Part Three proposes a set of institutional and environmental factors that contribute to the success of microfinance.

~
Updates from the past month:
Personal Connections, Supply and Demand + A Culinary Excursion
Farewells, Mistaken Identities + Micro-Microfinance
Earth Day, Celebrations + Exceeding Expectations
Trash, Delicious Treats + Community Outreach
Cute Pigs, New Toilets + Everything is Relative
~

Plus more pictures from the past week:

Colombia, by Nick Hamilton

Abdoulaye, UIMCEC Loan Officer at the Yoff Branch

Senegal, by Tim Young

Nicaragua, by Jason Jones

Edward, another Juhudi Kilimo loan officer, visits farmers in Kisii.

Kenya, by Nila Uthayakumar

30 May 2011 at 02:00 1 comment

The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field (Part 3)

This is the final installment of a three-part article on ‘The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field.’ The first concentrated on the pros of microfinance and the second on the cons. This third part will describe what I deem to be the optimum conditions for successful microfinance.

The cons described in Part 2 of this article may come across as quite negative, but at Interactuar (in Antioquia, Colombia – my second Kiva Fellowship) I saw many being countered and microfinance working particularly effectively.

Continue Reading 25 May 2011 at 07:06 6 comments

The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field (Part 2)

This is the second of a three-part article on ‘The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field’. The first part concentrated on the pros. The second will focus on the cons.

Most of the cons described below demonstrate one thing; microfinance assists on a micro level but is unable to affect macro-level influences. The latter are the main reason that people are impoverished in the first place.

Continue Reading 24 May 2011 at 06:27 4 comments

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