Posts tagged ‘KF16 (Kiva Fellows 16th Class)’
Compiled by Kiyomi Beach | KF17 | Mexico
Whether shaking off the chill of winter, welcoming the rainy season, or experiencing any other climate change, the spring can definitely be a time to celebrate. Some countries celebrate big which can mean local business owners have a surge in income from selling items related to the festivities. Sales for new clothes, fabrics for costumes, candies, and specialty foods increase, which give some Kiva borrowers an extra reason to celebrate.
While we may all be familiar with some holidays or festivals, each culture celebrates what may seam like a familiar holiday differently. Some countries have celebrations that are uniquely their own, with the common threads being are family and fun. Lets see how a few of the fellows celebrated.
Compiled by Laurie Young, KF16, Indonesia
Last week you read about about what six of the fellows from KF16 were doing once their fellowships ended. Read on to see what adventures 2012 will bring to some more!
By Kiva Fellows in Africa, KF16
Compiled by Tejal Desai
Ow de body! Are Sierra Leone and Rwanda still danger zones? What challenges do Ugandans most commonly face? Kiva Fellows from KF16 bring you another unique perspective from the diverse and vast continent of Africa! We patched together an overview of each of our placement countries that includes: basic socioeconomic stats, common stereotypes (and to what extent they are true or false), greatest challenges, most common loan products at our respective field partners, and the borrowers’ most common use of their profits. Our part 2 series follows the Kiva Fellows through Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Uganda. We hope our summaries give you a new perspective on the continent and its distinct countries that we’ve been fortunate to explore, thanks to the Kiva fellowship!
Compiled by Jim Burke, KF16, Nicaragua
We are Kiva Fellows. This is the stuff we like. Here is an insider (often critical, or satirical but always true!) view of what it means to be a Kiva Fellow and promote access to financial services around the world. From party crashing to bazaars to street food, these are the things we like and thrive on. Check out Stuff Kiva Fellows Like (SKFL) #1-9!
#10 Street Food
Mariela Cedeño, KF16, Cochabamba, Bolivia
I’m not really sure why, but there is something inherently appealing to a Kiva Fellow’s being about food that is prepared, cooked, and sold on the streets. Perhaps it’s the dubiously hygienic food preparation, the alternative cooking apparatus used to bring food to fire, or it’s ready availability and our relative laziness…wait, no, it’s actually our need to literally ‘taste’ the local culture. In our fits of street food deliriousness we are open and ready to taste all that our surroundings have to offer, however, we often find that the local fare may not quietly find a home in our stomachs. Thankfully, before leaving to our local assignments, our travel nurses reminded us that in times of intestinal woe, Cipro and other like antibiotics will be our best friend. They sometimes are, but because we are well versed in the dangers of overusing antibiotics and are haunted by nightmares of creating giant super bacteria that start kidnapping local women and children, we use them sparingly and wisely. (more…)
By Abhinab Basnyat, KF 16, Nepal
Part 1 of this series is available at here
Similar to Narayan Devi, Binu is a multi-faceted entrepreneur. A previous Kiva loan helped her fund a tailoring business where she was able to employ a few other people. As a single mother, she recently moved to another part of town to be closer to her brother. Upon moving she closed her tailoring shop. The distance made it expensive and difficult to travel and manage her shop. One option would have been to start another tailoring business in her new locality. As an entrepreneur who is constantly looking out for new opportunities and has a desire to learn new skills she decided to open a small canteen.
Her new residence is located close to a hospital, and after an initial survey of the area she noticed that the hospital did not have a canteen to serve the medical students, doctors and patients. Drawing from her brother’s experience in the restaurant business Binu received a loan to kickstart her small canteen. In the hour that I visited there was a steady flow of students who came for a quick snack between classes, doctors between shifts, and patients. Serving to a medical community, Binu is especially aware of the need to provide safe, tasty, hygienic snacks.
As I became more aware of Binu’s business acumen and desire to take measured risks, I inquired about her entrepreneurial drive. As a single mother, Binu is motivated, knowing that her wellbeing depends on her handwork, and her desire to provide her son with a good education. In the past even she had even ventured into growing mushrooms to sell in the local market, and explored going into the wholesale clothing business. The support of BPW-Patan and Kiva have been instrumental in providing borrowers like Binu and Narayan Devi the necessary financial resources to become a multi-faceted entrepreneur and improve their livelihoods.
Although, these borrowers provided me with a first hand experience on how micro-finance impacted peoples’ lives, the nagging question in my mind had always been: how can micro-finance be scaled? For example, the purchase of a cow to sell milk provides an opportunity to generate income, but the scalability of this endeavor is limited until a second cow is purchased, and so forth. The industrious and multi-faceted entrepreneurship of Binu and Narayan Devi provided another dimension to micro-finance. There were borrowers who were actively taking measured risks and starting new micro-ventures. A single activity might not be scalable; but the desire and agility to transition and supplement one’s activity definitely yields the opportunity for greater returns.
Abhinab Basnyat is currently serving as a Kiva Fellow in Nepal with BPW-Patan. To learn more about BPW-Patan go to their Field Partner Page on the Kiva website. Check out the BPW Patan Lending Team and consider making a loan to a woman entrepreneur from Nepal.
By Tejal Desai, KF16, Sierra Leone
Earlier this year, a Kiva fellow in KF14, David McNeill, wrote about his interaction with a Sierra Leonean taxi driver, and addressed a hot issue in microfinance: the financial donut hole. The driver asked David what type of work he was doing in Sierra Leone, and after David mentioned he was involved with microcredit, the driver expressed, “Ah, that is for women.” In his post, David explains how the driver was mostly right: why the microfinance industry concentrates on lending mostly to women, although there are still a small percentage of men who are eligible to receive loans. He continues to explain that the microfinance industry generally targets the poorest of the poor, this “bottom of the pyramid,” but leaves out those who fall in between: the people that are financially overqualified for microcredit, but too poor to receive a bank loan — resulting in the donut hole conundrum. His post makes it clear that microfinance has a long way to go until it can reach all levels of poverty. During my fellowship at BRAC Sierra Leone, however, I have learned about a particular product that is proving to be a small but effective means to fill that rather large donut hole: the small enterprise loan.
By Whitney Webb, KF16, Rwanda
One of the biggest challenges of providing access to financial services to those living in poverty is the actual logistics of expanding the services into some of the most remote areas of the world. 92% of Rwandans live in rural areas. During my first field visit, I visited a small village near the border of Tanzania. After meeting several first time borrowers and hearing about their challenges and strong hopes for the future, we drove out onto the unpredictable mud roads.
by Jim Burke, KF16, Nicaragua
Mercado Oriental spans 60 city blocks and is the largest in Central America. The market is a jungle of stalls, pushcarts, alleyways and low hanging clothes, fruits, and shoes. It’s a full sensory experience that is almost numbing in its frenetic energy. Flies on meats next to sexy new hair products, car parts and phone calls from the same vendor, sweet smells of fresh baked bread and shoe polish, this is where Marcial Salvador sells shoes.
Lauren Barra, KF16, Kenya
“A startling new statistic from the World Health Organization,” the BBC announcer sounded from my taxi’s radio. “There are only two registered medical professionals for every 1,000 Kenyans…” As I drove through the bustling, overcrowded streets of downtown Mombasa, I took a deep breath and was reminded once again – my work here is not going to be easy.
The BBC announcer continued to explain that this data is even more sobering for poor, uninsured Kenyans who rely on government-funded hospitals. A recent economic survey showed that only 19 public health officials and 18 doctors are available per 100,000 Kenyans. Public doctors are often overwhelmed with patients and it’s not uncommon for Kenyans to pass away waiting to receive essential care. Insured patients have the option to go to a private facility and have a much better chance of receiving quality care. Few Kenyans in this region can afford traditional health insurance plans and families suffer devastating setbacks if one member falls seriously ill.
By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF 16, Ecuador
Taxi drivers were not in the forefront of my mind when I was walking out of Guayaquil´s international airport into the hot and humid air of this Ecuadorian port city. I had just been welcomed by Rubi Chaca who thankfully was driving me to my hotel. Rubi is the expert in charge of managing the loans made by Kiva lenders at Kiva´s partner organization Banco D-MIRO.
Only minutes before, as my plane was approaching Guayaquil, I had been able to grasp the enormity of this sprawling city. As I was soon to learn, Guayaquil represents a condensed microcosm of the whole country, with all its regions, peoples, and customs being represented. It is a place of extreme contradictions and contrasts…
By Whitney Webb, KF16, Rwanda
Things became real when I stepped out of my NYC apartment for the last time and hailed a cab to the airport. It was one thing to say (repeatedly) “I’m moving to Rwanda to do a fellowship in microfinance. I’m so excited. And a little nervous.” It’s quite another to pack up your bags and actually board a plane to Rwanda, or Indonesia, or Paraguay, etc… I’m guessing more than one of us Kiva fellows had the inevitable panic attack prior to and during departure.
“You are lucky,” my taxi driver tells me. “You have arrived in the best time in Georgia!”