Posts filed under ‘FAMA Honduras’

Lessons from a Cowboy Town: the Importance of Good Institutions

Betsy McCormick, KF12

There is a saying here in the cowboy state of Olancho: “Come if you want, get out if you can.” The phrase, I believe, originates from two primary facts: 1. Olancho is quite removed from anywhere else in Honduras, and 2. Olancho has, unfortunately, become known in the last few years as a place for violent family feuds and deadly drug crimes.

For me, however, the saying (thankfully!) has garnered a different meaning all together.

Continue Reading 3 November 2010 at 10:00

Partner Politics, Or, How to Motivate a Loan Officer

Betsy McCormick, KF12, Honduras

When most of us think Kiva, we picture the website and hard-working entrepreneurs standing in their corner stores or out in their fields. Kiva is, after all, a direct connection between lenders and borrowers. Well…sorta kinda. You are probably aware that Kiva works through field partners—the “middlemen” who find loan clients, approve loans, and submit borrower profiles for the Kiva Community to fund. But after nearly three months working with one of those field partners, I have come to the tough realization that this process can be a clunky one. What happens when loan officers can’t or simply don’t want to post a Kiva loan? It begs the question of who exactly is benefiting from Kiva. In this vein, I attempt to elucidate the push and pull between entrepreneur, institution, loan officer and last but not least, the Kiva Fellow caught in the middle.

Continue Reading 17 October 2010 at 10:00 5 comments

Innovation in Microcredit: Women, Children and Second Chances

Betsy McCormick, KF12, Honduras

Here at FAMA in Honduras, the organization is always striving to go above and beyond to find ways to better serve clients, and to reach out to marginalized populations. Through a bit of foresight, an increasing tolerance for risk and a deep commitment to the community, FAMA has come up with three products that deserve special attention.

Continue Reading 27 September 2010 at 10:00 4 comments

From Piñatas to Flower Arranging: Kiva Loans and Community Development

Betsy McCormick, KF12, Honduras

Some lenders may be unaware that Kiva loans have the potential to benefit a wider clientele than the selected entrepreneurs. As a member of the Kiva community, you know that lenders don’t receive any interest that the client pays back on the loan. So, you may ask, what becomes of it? In some cases, the Microfinance Institution (MFI) that administered the loan may use it to increase their operational self-sufficiency. But, in other cases, the interest that the client pays to the MFI empowers that organization to invest in social programs that it may not otherwise be able to afford. A brief history of a Honduran MFI, FAMA, and description of my new favorite holiday may help to illuminate this connection.

Continue Reading 12 September 2010 at 10:00 1 comment

Quantifying Feelings: the Role of Social Performance in Microfinance

Betsy McCormick, KF12, Honduras

We lend to Kiva entrepreneurs because we feel that our loans are making a difference in the lives of those individuals. But how do we know? Beyond anecdotal evidence of improved livelihoods, is there any way to create and evaluate a quantitative link between microcredit and the type of long-run social impact we hope for? The short answer is…not yet. The longer and more interesting answer is…enter CERISE.

Continue Reading 27 August 2010 at 14:00 18 comments

A New Sense of Professionalism

Betsy McCormick, KF 12, Honduras

After one week working with FAMA ODP´F in Honduras, I learned that their operations are in many ways far more professional than I had ever imagined. However, it wasn´t until a threatened hitchhiking adventure that I realized some of the nuances of what professionalism looks like in Honduras.

Continue Reading 13 August 2010 at 14:00 1 comment

It’s the Little Things that Count

Matt Raimond, KF11

Life as a Kiva Fellow has been a huge change of pace from the rest of my life, a chance to slow down and reflect on all the changes in my life while experiencing to a tremendous learning opportunity. It has been an eye opening experience and I have been amazed at how many things I take for granted in my life. Through my reflections I’ve come to realize that it’s the little things that count. And so for my final post as a Kiva Fellow I present you with the top 11 things (yes, 11) that I am thankful for from my Kiva Fellowship in Honduras (in no particular order).

Continue Reading 23 July 2010 at 15:01 2 comments

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