Posts tagged ‘cooking’

Cause the money’s all been spent…

Diana Biggs | KF 18 | Burkina Faso

The words of Arcade Fire’s song Lenin, “cause the money’s all been spent” took on a new meaning as I sat writing this blog. Savings has been on my mind a lot over the past two months of my fellowship — most prominently, in the context of the field and the role that microfinance plays in both teaching and facilitating savings for the poor.

This topic brings a lot of difficult questions: With such extremely small amounts of money available, how does one manage to put anything aside? And yet, without this, what happens when you child falls ill with malaria? How does one get together a sum large enough to pay their school fees? How do you put a roof over your head when your hut has been washed away in a flood? If the money stays in your pocket, the little costs of the day-to-day could quickly add up until “the money’s all been spent”…

A group of women count their savings for a payment in Burkina Faso

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18 September 2012 at 08:00 6 comments

Selling stoves in Burkina Faso, a humble field guide

Diana Biggs | KF 18 | Burkina Faso

Last week I was lucky enough to join my Entrepreneurs du Monde (EdM) colleagues on a field mission in the Ioba province of Burkina Faso, a rural area that borders Ghana. There, in the town of Dano, is a small EdM office manned by Benoit Some, who covers EdM’s Burkina Faso social enterprise arm, Nafa Naana, in the area.

The small, roadside office doubles as a storage hub and retail outlet for energy-efficient and gas cookstoves (as described in my last blog post).

EdM's Dano office

Cookstove display outside the EdM branch in Dano.

Here, this March, four rural shopkeepers were given training in the Nafa Naana model — the product offering, environmental protection, stock management, cash management and sales techniques. Then in April, EdM set them up for the sale of the cookstoves, providing them with simple management tools, such as receipts and sales lists, posters and an informational leaflet to show interested customers. The organization also installed grills produced by local iron workers to lock up the cookstoves and organized four promotional events in the area to drum up interest. Then of course there were the actual cookstoves, which are supplied to the shopkeepers with interest-free advances.

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7 August 2012 at 08:00 4 comments

Ica’s Next Top Chef

The challenges of rural and agricultural microfinance are many: the least of which, in the case of Kiva Field Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren, is living in the middle of the Sechura Desert. But Caja Rural’s clients show the same impregnable determination I witnessed during my first fellowship in Ecuador. Against all odds (and weather patterns), they’re growing their businesses, investing in their lives, and laying the foundation for a thriving future.

This week I had the pleasure of getting to know Kiva borrowers Mirian Dora and María Victoria. Mirian and María have a lot in common- they’re in the same line of work, they support generations of family members, and they represent successful Kiva borrowers in Ica, Peru…

Continue Reading 5 November 2011 at 02:00 2 comments

Ana’s Kitchen: How to Make a Tamale (or a Hundred)

“The stove, the gas, the vegetables, the meat, the pots, and tools, clean water… I have a lot of expenses in my business.” Not to mention the considerable time and energy that Doña Ana Victoria expends making a batch of her delicious tamales. Though she has many costs, Ana makes a fairly steady stream of profits from her market stall. To cover certain start-up costs and her side-business raising pigs, Ana has been lending from Kiva’s Field Partner Fundación ESPOIR for years.

Like most women in Ecuador, Ana Victoria learned how to cook from her mother, who learned it from her mother, and so on. But from here, Ana Victoria is a departure from the norm…

Continue Reading 10 August 2011 at 08:57 1 comment

A Taste of Liberia

By EB Moore, KF12 Liberia

To help wrap up food month at Kiva, I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned about Liberian food. Here is a short discussion of Liberian food, a recipe for Potato Greens, and links for those who want to learn more.

Continue Reading 31 August 2010 at 05:30 3 comments

How To Make Shoes and Rice With One Flame

A Kiva entrepreneur’s business intertwined with his home and family.

Continue Reading 14 February 2010 at 12:30 9 comments


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