Posts tagged ‘Kate Bennett’

A Fellowship in Photos (Part 2)

By Kate Bennett, KF15 Ecuador / KF16 Perú

After my first placement in Ecuador, I thought I knew living and working in South America- three months in Ica, Perú proved me wrong. New (and delicious) food, a drastically different (and drier) climate, and wonderful new friends, coworkers, and chicha-vending Kiva borrowers showed me another side of South America’s many amazing countries and cultures. As I phase out of my second fellowship back into the real world, I want to share these photos, and photos from my first placement in Ecuador, with you lenders and give thanks to KFP and Perú for an amazing fellowship experience! Click the photos to see them enlarged!

Kate Bennett (KF16) is thrilled to be working in Ica, Peru with Kiva Field Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren. For more on Kate’s experiences with Caja Rural Señor de Luren or life in Peru, follow her work here.

4 January 2012 at 04:00 1 comment

A Fellowship in Photos (Part 1)

My first placement in Ecuador was my first time in the country. Turns out that Ecuador is every bit as incredible as the guide books say, and more. I was continously struck by the warmth and openness of the Ecuadorian people (and their passion for politics!), the beauty of the mountains, jungle, and countryside, the richness of Ecuadorian food, the strength of the Kiva borrowers I met there, and my persisting inability to salsa as well as my coworkers. These are a few of my favorite photos of my time there. Stay tuned for my next post, of my favorite photos from my placement in Perú!

Continue Reading 28 December 2011 at 04:00 1 comment

The Do-Gooder’s 2011 Guide to Responsible Giving: Kiva Cards

In the United States, it was ushered in on Friday the 25th of November in the wee hours of the morning. Here in Ica, Perú, it is manifested in the towering polyethylene Christmas tree and tinsel-adorned telephone booths in the Plaza del Sol shopping mall. Around the world, in many forms, it’s upon us: the season of giving.

And every year in the Bennett family, we duke it out to see just who can give the most responsibly: we exchange goats through Heifer International, carbon credits through Carbon Fund, and donations to NPR and Wikipedia. That is, until several years ago when we discovered the apogee of responsible giving: the Kiva Card

Continue Reading 8 December 2011 at 04:00 5 comments

How do You Lend?

By Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru
The most challenging part of trainings for we Kiva Fellows is not instructing loan officers to obtain signed consent forms from borrowers, or explaining how money moves from lender, to Kiva, to Caja Rural, to the client. The most difficult explanation is often how and why. That there are hundreds of thousands of lenders out there, all excited to make a $25 loan to someone else in the world- at no gain of their own- is often lost on new loan officers. But making this clarification is what enables these extremely important players in the Kiva process to understand why it all works, and why providing details that show clearly the life of the borrower is imperative to facilitating the connection between borrower and lender.

Continue Reading 16 November 2011 at 04:00 2 comments

Ica’s Next Top Chef

The challenges of rural and agricultural microfinance are many: the least of which, in the case of Kiva Field Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren, is living in the middle of the Sechura Desert. But Caja Rural’s clients show the same impregnable determination I witnessed during my first fellowship in Ecuador. Against all odds (and weather patterns), they’re growing their businesses, investing in their lives, and laying the foundation for a thriving future.

This week I had the pleasure of getting to know Kiva borrowers Mirian Dora and María Victoria. Mirian and María have a lot in common- they’re in the same line of work, they support generations of family members, and they represent successful Kiva borrowers in Ica, Peru…

Continue Reading 5 November 2011 at 02:00 2 comments

Earthquake! (and Disaster Mitigation through Microfinance)


Last Friday morning my Fellows Blog post mentioned the devastation of the 2007 Peruvian Earthquake in Ica, Peru and the surrounding areas. At 2 PM local time later that day, another earthquake shook the city.

Kiva Fellow David Connelly, my predecessor here at Kiva Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren, has written before about the 2007 8.0 magnitude earthquake. The statistics are chilling: 519 people dead, 1366 injured, and some 76,000 homes collapsed. “After two and a half years,” he wrote in 2010, “Ica is still very much recovering.” Last week’s comparatively modest 6.9 magnitude earthquake made it clear as day that the wounds are fresh…

Continue Reading 1 November 2011 at 08:42 5 comments

Mysteries, Geoglyphs + too-good-to-be-true Kiva Borrowers

When I arrived in famous Nazca, Peru last week to complete some borrower visits, my mind was not on the celebrated and mysterious Nazca Lines but on the mystery of Caja Rural Señor de Luren borrower Gaby, who repaid her entire loan a mere month after disbursement.

I was checking in on Gaby’s loan as part of my borrower verification (BV) for Kiva Partner Caja Rural. The borrower verification item on a Kiva Fellow’s workplan always has us feeling anxious. One of the BV’s key objectives is to ensure transparency of loan repayment from Kiva Field Partners and potentially unearth any foul play within the Kiva partnership. Obviously, most of the time this is not the case; Kiva works with accredited and trustworthy microfinance institutions whose missions selflessly aid in the betterment of clients’ lives. But nevertheless, when I see something as rare as full repayment on the first repayment date, I can’t help but wonder…

Continue Reading 28 October 2011 at 04:00 1 comment

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