Posts filed under ‘Sierra Leone’

On Dedication, Adversity, and Not Being a Whiner

Micaela Browning | KF17/18 | Sierra Leone

Let’s face it: If you are a foreigner in rural Sierra Leone during the rainy season, you will invariably find yourself engaged in a game of what my friend Ryan once referred to as Tropical Disease Roulette. While you may be unsure whether the bullet contains typhoid, malaria, or the alphabet soup of the hepatitises, you can be absolutely certain that – probably sooner rather than later – you are going to come down with something.

Continue Reading 21 July 2012 at 08:00 13 comments

Same Continent, Different Worlds: Part 2

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!

Continue Reading 2 January 2012 at 13:00

60 Tips from Kiva Fellows

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16 Peru

The sixteenth class of Kiva Fellows has all but left the field- but we’re by no means done talking about our experiences. We’ve collectively spent 422 weeks in the field (just over 8 years!) and worked an estimated 16,650 hours at Kiva field partners around the world.  Needless to say, we’ve got a lot of opinions about how to use this time wisely.

Now, we’re no experts in living or working abroad (though we sure do like it), but we have some nuggets of wisdom to offer up for those of you transitioning into a life abroad or beginning your next Kiva Fellowship. Stick by these tips, and you can’t go wrong. (And for more hints and tips, check out 33 Tips from Kiva Fellows (written November 2009) or 45 More Tips from Kiva Fellows in South America.) Enjoy!

Continue Reading 30 December 2011 at 04:00 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

Swit Salone: A Journey in Photos

By Tejal Desai, KF16, Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone boasts lush, tumultuous landscapes, postcard-worthy beaches, delectable home cooking, inspiring stories, and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet. I was fortunate to have been placed in Freetown, Sierra Leone for my Kiva Fellowship at BRAC Sierra Leone. Follow my journey through this beautiful country and its capital city, Freetown. Hope you enjoy the photos!

Continue Reading 6 December 2011 at 13:00 4 comments

Updates from the Field: Autonomy, Sierra Leone and the 2011 Kiva Love Tour

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru
This week’s updates come at a time of change for Fellows around the world. As the holidays near, Fellows prepare to phase out of their current placements, move on to the next ones, and tie up loose ends with their Kiva Field Partners. But this doesn’t interfere with Fellows’ primary mission: to ensure that Kiva’s work and the work of our Field Partners is, too, sparking change as the new year approaches.

Continue Reading 5 December 2011 at 04:00 2 comments

Malaria Dreams: The True Kiva Fellowship Experience

By Tejal Desai, KF16, Sierra Leone

As my Kiva fellowship winds down, I reflect on the memorable journey I’ve been privileged to experience through the Kiva Fellows Program as a member of its 16th class. Through personal revelations and humbling lessons in adaptation, microfinance work, cultural differences (and a unique incidence of malaria), I’ve grown attached to beautiful Sierra Leone. Throughout the fellowship, I’ve found my journey paralleling that of a character in a humorous novel, Malaria Dreams by Stuart Stevens, in which a man travels through the Central African Republic in one mission in mind: to find a friend’s Land Rover and drive it back to Europe — only to find that his 3-month journey has a lot more in store for him than he anticipated, and nothing goes exactly as planned. My fellowship similarly followed suit with its own surprises, bumps in the road, and memorable moments.

Continue Reading 1 December 2011 at 16:00 6 comments

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