Posts tagged ‘violence’

What´s Easier Than Getting Robbed in Guayaquil?

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF 16, Ecuador

As much a therapy session as a blog entry, this is the narrative of a recent robbery incident in Guayaquil: It happened two hours ago and my co-workers and I can still feel the shock in our bones. This day had begun like a normal day: At 7.30am Rubi Chaca – the Kiva Coordinator of Banco D-MIRO -, her 16-year old intern Joel Kenny Matias, and I had met outside of the bank´s headquarters, where we were picked up by Roberto, the official driver of the bank. He drove us to the branch office of Guasmo where we gave a training session to the local loan officers, reminding them about Kiva and explaining to them why it is so important that they keep finding micro-entrepreneurs who agree to be listed with their name and photo on Kiva´s website.

Continue Reading 18 October 2011 at 16:00 9 comments

Conflict Generated Displacement and Microfinance: Helping People Build a New Life

Merys María Mejía Velasquez is always one of my favorite clients to see in the offices of Fundación Mario Santo Domingo (FMSD); I am always greeted with a huge and a warm welcome spewing with energy. Merys is a long time client of FMSD and has recently taken her first loan through Kiva to buy products to continue to expand her bakery. She enthusiastically attends the free workshops offered by FMSD and is constantly doing all she can to continue to grow her business. Unless you really got the chance to ask Merys about her history it is unlikely you would ever guess that she was displaced to Barranquilla by the violence of illegal, armed, far-right groups less than a decade ago, forced to restart her life from scratch.


Continue Reading 13 April 2011 at 12:52 4 comments

A Tale of Two Cities: First Impressions of Medellín, Colombia

Betsy McCormick, Medellín, Colombia, KF12

When I first told my father that Kiva had placed me in Medellín, he asked, “you mean the drug and murder capital of the world?” Er, um, not anymore! I don’t think….

Medellín is, in many ways, two different cities in one—and a place that faces far more nuanced challenges than its tarnished reputation implies. Caught between a landscape of rich young socialites on the one hand, and an impoverished population searching for its identity in the wake of violence on the other, Medellín makes for complicated and fecund ground in the world of microfinance.

Continue Reading 28 November 2010 at 10:00 3 comments

The “non-cowards” of Monterrey – Los “no-cobardes” de Monterrey

By Lourdes Toussaint, KF13, Mexico

A few months back, the owner of Cemex, one of the biggest Mexican companies and one of the world’s largest cement firms, caused a stir in the country by stating in his twitter account that those who are leaving the city of Monterrey are “cowards”. Due to the violence and the war between drug cartels in the north of the country, many people are choosing to leave this city. However, there are also many “non-cowards” or even “brave” people that are choosing to stay, to defend the city where they grew up and to continue with their work and everyday life despite the dangers.

Hace algunos meses, el dueño de Cemex, una de las mas grandes compañías mexicanas y una de las mas conocidas cementeras del mundo, causó revuelo en el país al calificar de “cobardes” en twitter a los que han decidido irse de la ciudad de Monterrey. Debido a la violencia y la guerra entre narcotraficantes en el norte del país, hay muchas personas que se han ido de esta ciudad. Sin embargo, también existen muchos “no cobardes” o incluso “valientes” que han elegido quedarse a defender la ciudad donde crecieron, y a continuar con su trabajo y su vida a pesar de los peligros.

Continue Reading 23 November 2010 at 11:00 20 comments

Poverty and Paroxysm: an International Day of Peace Post

The first news reports on BBC, CNN, and AP said that the bomb went off at 8:10 in the morning. I swear though, that I heard it at 8:04. Its not every day that a young American not serving in the armed forces hears an explosion as they gets ready for work, but for Kiva Fellows, this isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Continue Reading 21 September 2010 at 01:37 7 comments

Microfinance and Violence against Women

Around the world, women continue to suffer from domestic and partner violence. Economic empowerment through microfinance is one way to reduce violence against women.

Continue Reading 27 April 2010 at 04:22 12 comments


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