Posts tagged ‘Ouagadougou’

Update from the Field: Learning from adversity and environmentally-friendly stoves. Plus, more on Kiva Zip

Compiled by Isabel Balderrama | KF17 + KF18 | Bolivia

Another week, another helping of great posts brought to you by our intrepid Kiva Fellows. In this edition of Update from the Field we have a few very different posts competing for our interest. As one Fellow deals with the complexities of setting up and overseeing a new type of Kiva product, Kiva Zip, another continues learning more about the unique ways her MFI’s partnership with Kiva helps those least fortunate, and a third deals with the health consequences of living in West Africa. Whether keeping it close to home or exploring the furthest reaches of our planet, KF-18’s posts this week are sure to keep  you very well entertained and informed.

Continue Reading 23 July 2012 at 09:00 5 comments

Now you’re cooking with gas…

Diana Biggs | KF 18 | Burkina Faso

As mentioned in my previous posts, the Field Partner I’m working with, Entrepreneurs du Monde (EdM), is not a microfinance institution in itself – however, the use of microfinance is key to its mission, as it allows EdM to distribute their socially focused projects in a way that can become financially sustainable.

The focus of Kiva’s partnership is EdM’s cookstove project, newly named “Nafa Naana” which can be understood both in Moré and Dioula – the two local languages most spoken in Burkina Faso – roughly translating to “the benefit has come,” “that which you easily win” or “the facility is there.” (Read about it on EdM’s West Africa Blog – and , if you’re really keen, starting picking up some Moré!).  Nafa Naana’s mission is to make environmentally-friendly energy products – such as gas and energy efficient stoves – available in Burkina Faso, even to the poorest and most remote households.

Projet Nafa Naana

Nafa Naana team with the improved cookstoves

(more…)

20 July 2012 at 08:09 6 comments

Doing Good in ‘Dougou

Diana Biggs | KF 18 | Burkina Faso

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to take part in «la Journée du Volontariat Français», an event at the French Institute of Ouagadougou which aims to promote the actions of French volunteers in Burkina Faso.  As I commended my French colleague for the generosity of his fellow French citizens, he explained to me that although the best translation I seem to be able to find for «Volontariat » is «Volunteer », it is not the same as volunteers who actually work for free, for whom the term « bénévoles » is used (Hello, Kiva Fellows!).

French Institute

Enter “la Journée du Volontariat Français”…

In its second iteration, the event attracted around 500 attendees: Authorities, volontariats, associations and NGOs. Despite its name, it wasn’t a day just for the French, but was also well attended by “Burkinabés” (the term for people from Burkina Faso) – and even one Canadian… (more…)

9 July 2012 at 09:15 1 comment

Update from the Field: Client training in Mexico, saying “hello!” to Burkina Faso, + learn a little bit about Albania!

Compiled by Isabel Balderrama | KF17 + KF18 | Bolivia

The road to work

The road to fellow DIana Biggs’ job in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

This week our intrepid team of KF-18 fellows brings us an interesting mix of stories from a wide variety of countries. From taking a lesson on how to raise and care for sheep in Mexico, to learning more about little-known countries such as Burkina Faso and Albania, this week’s posts are sure to keep your interest. Read on for a fellow’s take on what it is that’s keeping Africa from achieving unity and to catch a glimpse of what a fellow’s first few days at work are like in a new and challenging environment.

Bonne Arrivée: Welcome to Ouagadougou
Diana Biggs | KF18 | Burkina Faso
Freshly arrived to our favorite city to pronounce, Diana tells us a little bit about the challenges, and the joys, of living and working in her hot and humid new environment.

A United Africa Part One: What is standing in the way?
Carissa Look | KF18 | Ghana
Here, Carissa brings us Part One of a two-part blog about the political and communication barriers that face the countries of Africa throughout their quest to become a more united continent. In this first installment Carissa explains how Africa’s sheer size is a great impediment to its countries working together.

 Mexican Tale of Women and Sheep
Emmanuel M. von Arx | KF 16+17 | Mexico
In his last post, Emmanuel covered FRAC’s involvement with “Mexico’s greatest artisan fair” and thus made us aware of some of the non-financial services that this partner MFI provides its clients. In this post, Emmanuel stays on this topic by telling us about another non-financial service provided by FRAC: Sheep-rearing courses provided by a UNAM-educated veterinarian. Read on to learn a little more about the benefits of this service, and also if you’ve always been curious as to why sheep have four stomach compartments.

A United Africa Part Two: Why is my internet so slow, why are my phone calls so expensive and what can be done about it to unite Africa, enhance Kiva, and speed development?
Carissa Look | KF18 | Ghana
After reading this first installment about some of the possible geopolitical causes for a lack of unity in the African continent, Carissa moves on to analyze the high cost of telecommunications as a culprit for some African nation’s lack of cooperation with its neighbors and the rest of the world. In this post, Carissa also explains how these challenges affect Kiva’s work in Ghana.

Spotlight on Europe’s most mysterious country
Alice Reeves | KF18 | Kosovo & Albania
As you might remember, on her last post Alice enlightened us on one of her two assigned destinations: Pristina, Kosovo. This time around we are taken on a brief historical and geographical tour of Albania, her second destination, and she also introduces us to VisionFund Albania (VFA), the partner MFI she will also be working with.

Updates from the Past Month:

Update from the Field
Life as a Fellow in San Francisco, a walk through an art fair + becoming part of a winning soccer team
Appreciating Volunteers & Poetry from a Newly Arrived Fellow
Introducing joinFITE.org, a new platform designed to empower women in entrepreneurship

Plus, more pictures from the past week:

Diana’s sweltering office in Ouagadougou

Diana Biggs’ adorable alarm clock

Veterinarian Linda Velázquez giving FRAC clients and fellow Emmanuel a presentation on how to properly care for sheep

9 July 2012 at 08:00 4 comments

Bonne Arrivée: Welcome to Ouagadougou

By Diana Biggs | KF18 | Burkina Faso

One week ago today, I touched down in my new home of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The greetings of “Bonne Arrivée!” I received at the airport are now echoed each morning as I arrive at my field partner’s office and each evening as I return home and  am greeted by my night guardian, Adama.

The road to work

A quieter street in Ouaga…

Continue Reading 3 July 2012 at 08:55 10 comments

La Réalité de L’Afrique

By Allison Moomey, KF16, Burkina Faso

I spent last weekend in a small village about 10km outside of Banfora (a small city about 6.5 hours from where I live in Ouagadougou) with some incredibly welcoming and generous Peace Corps volunteers.  As often as I get annoyed by bugs, heat, and unreliable internet, I live a pretty charmed Burkinabé life in Ouaga.  Staying in a village without electricity or running water was a wake-up call to the realities of life here.  I didn’t do any of the hard work like getting water or biking products to market that most residents do each day.  I lived like a pretty privileged guest.  But I was still exhausted after just 48 hours.  I can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like as a resident with only tôt (nutritionally empty starch) to eat, daily trips to the pump for water, and a dirt floor to sleep on every night.  Although not as rural, these same challenges are a daily reality for many of Micro Start’s borrowers.  The weekend was full of lessons, and recognizing my lack of hardcore-ness was only the beginning.

The lack of infrastructure means gorgeous nature is still intact!

(more…)

29 October 2011 at 08:00 1 comment

A Day in the Life Part I: Kiva Coordinator

By Allison Moomey, KF16, Burkina Faso

I was a fan of Kiva long before I realized there were real people who make those profiles miraculously appear on Kiva’s website. Likely, you’re a bit more aware. Or perhaps you’re like me, and you’ve just never thought about it. If so, this is like the Santa revelation… there aren’t gnomes behind the screen, but instead hard-working, committed groups of people. Either way, this is the first in a series of posts dedicated to them and all that they do!

There are so many people behind the posting of a single profile, and this is just part one in a series of posts to give each a bit of exposure. We’ll begin with the person running the Kiva show at the MFI-level: the Kiva Coordinator (in Kiva-speak, the KC). Now, this position looks different at each MFI. At some larger partners, the KC may solely be doing Kiva work. At many- like Kiva’s fabulous first partner in Burkina Faso, Micro Start- it’s just one of many things on his/her plate.

Continue Reading 14 October 2011 at 07:47 4 comments

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