Posts tagged ‘KF14’
Compiled by Caree Edson, KF 14, Armenia
One of the unfortunate sight-seeing adventures that you never sign up for when you travel (especially in developing countries) is the unseemly amount of trash cluttering the otherwise beautiful landscapes. In Armenia, it isn’t possible to see the horizon through the smog most days and the streets are covered in cigarette butts and litter. I found no exceptions to this as I inquired from other Kiva Fellows about the dire situation in their countries. Environmental education and reform are simply not a top priority in many countries. But the future of climate change initiatives are not entirely hopeless…
By Caree Edson, KF 14, Armenia
There were incredible stories of resiliency on the Kiva website that moved me to sacrifice my stable income, access to hot water and balanced nutrition, not to mention consistent contact with my friends and family back home for a few short months in pursuit of furthering my knowledge in the field of microfinance. In short, the reason I became a Kiva Fellow was to fulfill Kiva’s mission of “connecting people through lending to alleviate poverty”. I could think of nothing I’d rather be doing with my days than meeting farmers and small business owners on the other side of the world and sharing their stories with all of you. I informed a few borrowers last week that I journeyed all the way from the US to meet them and hear their stories, and I meant every word.
By Stephanie Sibal, KF14, Cambodia
It oftentimes begins with the aspiration of achieving something bigger: many enterprising Kiva borrowers request loans to start new ventures or expand businesses. Some rely on a Kiva loan to remedy a setback.
However, not all borrowers take out loans with the intention of starting or growing a business. Coming from places where running water, electricity, and sometimes even a roof for their house are considered luxuries, countless borrowers request loans to improve the quality of their lives.
Three months and nearly a dozen trips into rural Cambodian provinces of Kampong Chhnang, Takeo, and Kandal have provided me with opportunities to chat intimately with borrowers who are grateful to lenders for allowing them what the developed world calls “the bare necessities.”
By Caree Edson, KF14, Armenia
It was about noon on a gorgeous Spring day in Goris, Armenia when I showed up at the local SEF branch to meet the employees there. Goris is stunning in its natural beauty. The city center resides at the bottom of a bowl with caves and mountains towering on every side.
The tiny, three-person staff of the SEF branch welcomed me with tea, brownies and chocolate (a custom I plan to take back home with me) and were thrilled for the opportunity to show me around. The only question was how many borrowers I would like to visit. Since the day was getting later, I asked them to pick their two favorite Kiva borrowers and introduce me. With no agenda, other than training on how to take fabulous profile photos, we were off on a four-wheel drive trek around the villages to see two of the area’s farmers.
What happens to Kiva Fellows once they finish their placement and get released back into the world? This is a question I have asked myself many times as I look ahead beyond my placement in Colombia–luckily I will be part of KF15 and won’t have to make those decisions for a few months! Many of the current fellows will be heading to grad school in the fall, going back to their old jobs, or looking for new jobs in international development. But how many of us get the chance to continue on in the world of microfinance?
By Caree Edson, KF 14, Armenia
While Kiva works with three microfinance institutions in Armenia, I have, thus far, only had the privilege to spend time with the staff at one. When I was offered an opportunity to do some Borrower Verifications for Nor Horizon (another partner institution), I jumped at the chance. Borrower Verifications, while requiring a lot of time and effort on the part of the fellows, are by far the best part of this journey. They entail going out into the field with credit officers and meeting with clients to ensure the accuracy of the information being uploaded on Kiva’s website. In Armenia this makes for a fantastic way to spend a Friday.
Compiled by Geeta Uhl, KF14, Peru
Kiva Fellows celebrate Carnival in the Andes- in Ayacucho and Cajamarca, Peru and Oruro, Bolivia. Check out photos and descriptions of the various celebrations and traditions in South America.