Author Archive

Mali in Color (Part 2): Impressions from the Road

By Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

In the first part of this blog series, I shared pictures of Malian borrowers. But even on my way to those borrowers, I was not able to put down my camera. Here are my favorite shots from the road.

Continue Reading 13 December 2011 at 02:00 1 comment

Mali in Color (Part 1): Impressions of Kiva Borrowers

By Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

When I boarded a plane to Mali last week, I was not exactly enthusiastic. One reason may have been the unpleasant 2 AM take-off from Kigali, another the recent Al-Qaida kidnappings in the North, which meant that all relevant tourist spots were off limits. And six months into my career as a Kiva fellow, a routine task such as a borrower visit was not enough to get me excited.

I was in for a surprise.

The borrowers of Kiva’s Malian field partner Soro Yiriwaso and their incredible hospitality, made my trip unforgettable. I came to check borrowers’ identities and look at loan papers. I left with a mountain of presents, a full stomach and a serious caffeine high after the countless cups of sweat tea offered to me everywhere I went.

But I was most excited about finally being in a country where people love to be photographed. Below are my favorite shots from my meetings with Malian borrowers.

Continue Reading 12 December 2011 at 03:00 6 comments

Update from the Field: Loan Officer Training, a Photographic Journey + Kiva Gift Cards

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

December has long been the month of annual awards, looking back and frantic searches for presents. The Kiva fellows blog is no exception to this rule: Share the fellows’ memories by taking a photographic journey through Sierra Leone and watching a video about a typical day of a fellow conducting loan officer trainings. Learn about some incredible women in Costa Rica, who received a Woman Entrepreneur Award from Kiva’s field partner, Fundación Mujer. And to avoid the frantic searches this year, consider surprising your loved ones with the gift that keeps on giving, the Kiva Gift Card.

Continue Reading 12 December 2011 at 02:00 1 comment

Update from the Field: New Products in Microfinance, Over-Indebtedness + Transparency

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

This week on the Kiva fellows blog, start out by learning about three new microfinance products – microinsurance in Indonesia, higher education loans in the Philippines and green and water loans in Kenya. Continue on to Nepal to admire the handiwork of artisan borrowers. Make your way to Ecuador to find out more about the risk of indebtedness. Share the fellows’ personal experiences with the recent elections in Nicaragua and rush hour traffic in Uganda. Finish by taking a critical look at transparency in microfinance and Kiva’s responsibility with regards to transparency.

Continue Reading 15 November 2011 at 06:44 3 comments

Update from the Field: Expanding the Reach of Microfinance, Downsizing Development + Why We Kiva

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

This week, you have no fewer than 14 new articles to choose from on the Kiva fellows blog: Let the fellows take you along on borrower visits across the world. Learn how Kiva field partners expand the reach of microfinance in Rwanda, fill the microfinance donut hole in Sierra Leone and improve social performance in Uganda. Find out what poverty is like in urban Tajikistan and rural Burkina Faso. Get inspired by one of the creative ways to bring renewable energy to the developing world in the form of a soccer ball. And finally, watch a video of “Why We Kiva” to get a glimpse of why Kiva fellows jump at the opportunity to be thrown half way around the world to work with Kiva’s many local field partners.

Continue Reading 31 October 2011 at 02:49 5 comments

Update from the Field: Loan Use, Agriculture Loans + Stuff Kiva Fellows Like

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

This week on the Kiva fellows blog: Hop on a poda-poda or an okada to try out an adventurous way to get around Sierra Leone. Find out why loan use in Tajikistan is not as straightforward as you may think. Learn how the principle of “trust but verify” is applied in Georgia. Explore the clever efforts of an Ecuadorian Kiva partner to craft an agricultural loan product that is appropriate to farmers’ needs. Welcome Kiva’s new field partner, VisionFund Cambodia. Learn how village banking works in Ecuador.

Continue Reading 10 October 2011 at 02:00 8 comments

Update from the Field: Starting Capital, Development Levels + Adventurous Borrower Visits

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

This week on the Kiva fellows blog, start your journey in Indonesia and read about some early lessons of a Kiva fellow. Then continue on to the Americas to take part in El Salvador’s independence day celebrations, find out how to start a business with 26 cents in Honduras, learn about the different levels of development of Bolivia and Sierra Leone, and finally go on an adventurous borrower visit in Nicaragua.

Continue Reading 26 September 2011 at 05:01 6 comments

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