Posts tagged ‘training’

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.

(more…)

7 August 2012 at 08:00 4 comments

A Mexican Tale of Women and Sheep

Emmanuel M. von Arx | KF 16+17 | Mexico

Who would have thought that my second Kiva Fellowship would teach me just as much about microfinance as about the rearing of sheep? Seriously, ask me anything you want: How do you best hold a lamb? How do you wrestle with a grown-up mutton? How do you treat sheep for worms? Where and how often do you set them a vaccine? How do you determine a sheep’s age? Why does a sheep bite normally neither hurt nor bleed? For what reason does a sheep have four stomach compartments? And how do you compel a lamb’s reluctant mother to accept her kid after birth? I owe this knowledge to UNAM-educated veterinarian Linda Velázquez Rosas, who made a sheep-expert not just out of me, but also out of 200 amateur sheep-owners in and around the little town of San Felipe del Progreso, two hours west of Mexico City. This training was made possible by Vision Fund Mexico (also known as Fundación Realidad or FRAC), a Kiva field partner that excels both at financial and non-financial services (in a previous blog post I documented an artisan fair in Mexico City that was co-organized by FRAC).

Continue Reading 6 July 2012 at 08:00 6 comments

Kiva Puts its 17th Class of Fellows on the Map!

By Jacob Schultz, Kiva Fellows Program Manager, and Eric Brandt, Kiva Fellows Program Coordinator

Kiva HQ was electric last month as the newest class of Kiva Fellows gathered for an intensive five-day training course. Over the next several weeks, they’ll split up among 21 countries where Kiva loans are made. While there, they’ll spend the next four months working closely with our field partners and meeting with borrowers to grow and strengthen the Kiva lending experience.

Prior to arriving for training, Kiva gets to know the KF17 trainees through their bios

Kiva received 165 applicants for the class’ 21 placements, and everyone at HQ was very excited to meet these exceptional people in person.

“It’s humbling to meet this talented group of individuals who are willing to do so much to support Kiva’s mission,” says Kiva President Premal Shah.

In one whirlwind week, a total of 29 Kiva staff delivered presentations on their areas of specialty and prepared the Fellows for the challenges they will face in the field. At the same time, each of the fellows got a crash course on the Kiva partner they will be working with to make lending even easier and more rewarding for lenders and borrowers alike.

As much as the Fellows are learning, this training week always ends up being a two-way street. As Premal notes, “Even before their time in the field, the fellows inspire and challenge us while they are training to continue to innovate and deepen Kiva’s impact.”

Matt Flannery, Co-founder and CEO, and Premal Shah, President of Kiva, speaking with the trainees

Following in the footsteps of 407 past Kiva Fellows, KF17 will play a critical role in expanding Kiva’s global reach and ensuring the integrity of the Kiva lending experience. Each individual in the class will serve with one or more of Kiva’s field partners in order to strengthen relationships, build capacity and gather insights, pictures and stories from the field.

KF17 trainees (from left) Jon Hiebert, Isabel Balderrama, Nessa French, and Micaela Browning prepare for the field

The Fellows will contribute their incredible energy and diverse professional skills to Kiva as self-funded volunteers. They will travel thousands of miles, immerse themselves in unfamiliar cultures, and overcome challenges for the opportunity to further Kiva’s work.

Members of KF17 take their place on the map

We’d like to congratulate the amazing 17th class of Kiva Fellows and wish them the best of luck in the field over the next several months. We can’t wait to learn even more from their experiences.

We proudly announce the 17th class of Kiva Fellows (KF17)!

  • Adria Orr – South Pacific Business Development, Samoa
  • Alex Connelly – Colfuturo, Colombia
  • Ben Schelling – Arvand, Tajikistan
  • Carrie Nguyen – Asociacion Arariwa, Peru
  • David Gorgani – ASPIRE, Dominican Republic
  • David Suk – CAURIE, Senegal
  • Devon Fisher – Milango, Kenya
  • Heather Sullivan – VisionFund Indonesia
  • Isabel Balderrama – FODEMI, Ecuador
  • Jamie Greenthal – CEVI, Philippines
  • Jen Truong – MAXIMA, Cambodia
  • Jon Hiebert – XacBank, Mongolia
  • Kiyomi Beach – Huatusco, Mexico
  • Micaela Browning – Hluvuku, Mozambique
  • Mike Slattery – WAGES, Togo
  • Natalie Sherman – ACEP, Cameroon
  • Nessa French – KADET and Strathmore University, Kenya
  • Philip Issa – Ryada, Palestine
  • Rebecca Vo – SEDA. Vietnam
  • Ryan Cummings – BRAC Liberia
  • Santiago Cortes – Prisma, Honduras

And an extra special thanks to the following fellows who will be returning for a 2nd placement!

  • Abhinab Basnyat – NUBL, Nepal
  • Allison Moomey – Finadev, Benin
  • Chris Paci – VisionFund AzerCredit, Azerbaijan
  • Emmanuel von Arx – FRAC, Mexico
  • Kim Strathearn – Maya, Turkey
  • Whitney Webb – VFC, Rwanda

To learn more about the Kiva Fellows Program, please visit our information page . We are currently accepting applications for the 18th class of Kiva Fellows who will begin their fellowships in June 2012. Apply today!

7 February 2012 at 15:24 9 comments

A Typical Day in the Life of a Kiva Fellow: Loan Officer Training (Video Blog Post)

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF 16, Guayaquil (Ecuador)

Video posts on a “typical day” in the life of a Kiva Fellow are a time-honored tradition on the Fellows Blog. Without any more words, here is my contribution to the video series of documenting a typical day in the life of a Kiva fellow. Like all previous contributors to the series, I am keenly aware that there is no “typical day” for Kiva Fellows. But taken together, the growing number of “typical day”-videos may at least convey something of the diversity, unpredictability, spontaneity, and joy that a typical untypical day of a Kiva Fellowship entails. Enjoy!

Continue Reading 6 December 2011 at 04:00 3 comments

Too Crude? Or, Just Reality.

Common Latrine in Northwest Cameroon

This photo may not be recognized immediately as a toilet, bathroom, or water closet. Or, it may be considered indecent for publishing on a civilized blog such as the Kiva Fellows Blog. Justifiably, blogs typically highlight the hardworking entrepreneurs who are fighting poverty. But in the interest of connecting Kiva lenders and blog readers to the true lives of Kiva and GHAPE borrowers, I have decided to share an image that many lenders and blog readers may have never seen.

Continue Reading 5 August 2011 at 14:29 2 comments

Next Steps for Kiva’s Partner in South Africa

By Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

You may or may not have noticed that posts from South Africa have been on the non-specific end of the spectrum. This is because Kiva’s first partner in South Africa, Women’s Development Businesses (WDB), is currently in a “pilot” stage. Both Kiva and WDB are figuring out the best processes and procedures for working together so that WDB can keep doing what it does best and Kiva and Kiva’s users can have the reporting they crave.

If you were eagerly awaiting lots of info from South Africa, this is the post for you! And if you just want to see happy pictures of loan officers and clients, all you have to do is scroll to the bottom of the page.

Continue Reading 17 February 2011 at 04:18 13 comments

Drawings from Training and Greetings from Boston

By Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

You’ll be hearing a lot from the 14th batch of Kiva Fellows (KF14) in the next few months but I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself while my Internet is fast and my motivation to go outside is low (it’s well below freezing in Boston).

Continue Reading 18 January 2011 at 08:42 14 comments

A Microfinance Classroom in the Philippines

In the U.S., there is a great deal of concern about hidden fees from financial service providers. “Read the fine print!” we are warned, because this is where fees and special conditions hide.

In a small village in Antique Province in the Philippines, I witnessed an entirely different approach. (more…)

24 November 2010 at 08:00 2 comments

O is for Opportunity

By Kaajal Laungani, KF12 Philippines

When I decided to apply for the Kiva Fellowship, I had ‘opportunity’ on my mind. I wanted to be a Fellow so I could become a channel through which disadvantaged people could connect to a network of financial support, thereby presenting them with the chance to improve their lives. Though I came to the province of Bohol envisioning the most effective opportunities to take the form of financial transactions, I have, on several occasions, witnessed other means of empowering underprivileged Filipinos.

Continue Reading 15 November 2010 at 08:00 2 comments

Today is an exciting day!

By Jacqueline Gunn, KF13- Ghana

Monday 1st November marks the start of the 13th class of Kiva Fellows. In various locations across the world, our class of 24 individuals from a large variety of different backgrounds, ages and interests will be eagerly stepping into their host MFI’s office to start their journey as a Kiva Fellow in the field. Watch the video to find out where we will be based.

Continue Reading 1 November 2010 at 16:00 7 comments

Being a Kiva Fellow – My week with 5 LO and 100 Kiva borrowers – Part 2

Have you ever wondered what Kiva Fellows really do on a daily basis?

Second and last episode of my week
On the menu of the end of this week: new profiles, client waiver, training. Working with loan officers and Kiva Coordinators.

Continue Reading 23 July 2010 at 16:42

What is it like being a Kiva Fellow? My week with 5 Loan officers and 100 Kiva Borrowers – Part 1

Have you ever wondered what Kiva Fellows really do on a daily basis?
Let me share with you one of my Kiva Fellow week.

On the menu of this week: new profiles, journals, client waiver, training, Cerise, blog, borrower verification and much more. Working with loan officers, Kiva Coordinator, and MFI management.

Every morning since I have been a KF, I always start with the same first 2 things: 1. Check fundraising status of my MFI to see whether we will hit the monthly target and 2. Check the average 5 emails I have received overnight from the other 28 KF around the world

Those are the only 2 predictable things in my KF assignment. For the rest, everyday is different and comes with a surprise…

Continue Reading 21 July 2010 at 15:16

Scaling in a Saturated Market: The Kenyan Experience

Seventeen young, scared faces sit around the board room for the full-day training of new marketers. I had been present the day that this new crop of SMEP employees was being interviewed. They had assembled en masse at our head office; many of them looking like the suit they were wearing had been hastily purchased at one of the local secondhand markets in anticipation of their first job interview.  In fact, they were what I refer to as “babies” the young-ish, newly graduated staffers whose faces more often look up at me when I am conducting trainings at the SMEP branch offices all over Kenya.

I don’t call them babies to disparage them, but actually to highlight the new crop of SMEP employees that is fresh-faced and wide-eyed, ready to take on challenges and work for the first MFI in Kenya.

The 17 new marketers take a while to warm up during the training – they seem scared to speak, and I think back to employee trainings I have been in the United States, where each one of us struggles to prove ourselves by opening our mouths and commenting on every nugget of information offered by the trainer.  These new recruits are the latest line of offense on SMEP’s push to capture more market share in a country where microfinance is overwhelmingly popular.

(more…)

23 March 2010 at 07:18 5 comments

Connecting KF7 with KF8

Training week for the 8th class of Kiva Fellows (KF8) is wrapping up our fifth and final day.  We have another remarkable class of 27 people who will soon be heading to 18 different countries to work with Kiva’s MFI field partners.

This morning I got word that a couple of KF7′s were collaborating on a response to this new class of fellows and we made sure that the KF8 trainees watched each hilarious video.

KF8 viewing Brett Dobb's video

KF8 viewing Brett Dobb's video from Kenya

Unfortunately, the camera was unable to capture the roars of laughter to “ostrich” “technological devices” “replaced” “tweeted – great looking group”.

KF8 also watching Nick Cain's video response

KF8 also watching Nick Cain's video from Paraguay

Kiva is all about connecting people.  Thanks Brett and Nick for connecting via video with our trainees in San Francisco.  Well done KF7 and good luck KF8!

22 May 2009 at 10:15 6 comments


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