Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

#MifiMon: Women and Microfinance

This Monday, I participated on the #MiFiMon Twitter panel about Women and Microfinance.  #MifiMon stands for Microfinance Monday, but is shortened due to the restrictions in text length in Twitter posts.  Here is a link to the tweets from the discussion on Twazzup.

For those of you who have not yet heard of Twitter discussions, it is a way have a real-time discussion about a certain topic on Twitter.  During #MifiMon we discuss microfinance.  #SocEntChat is another discussion about social entrepreneurship.  Using the hashtag #MiFiMon, we tag each comment so that it can be found in Twitter searches.  Twazzup is a service that helps isolate and track a real-time discussion on Twitter.  I found it to be a little slow to update, but that could have been because I’m in Cusco and it might have been the internet connection.

#MiFiMon Chat about Women and Microfinance

#MiFiMon Chat about Women and Microfinance

Twitter chats (just like any type of discussion, conference, workshop, etc) link  your organization with your field of work.  Your thoughts, opinions and links shared in chats can engage new and current supporters with your organization.  I received some new Twitter followers during this chat, and most of the are work in the field of microfinance or are interested in the topic.  Since I am a Kiva Fellow, I shared stories that my colleagues and I have written during our time in the field from the Kiva Fellows Blog.

If you are interested in going one more step and host a Twitter chat, here’s a blog post from @johnhaydon with a video on How to create successful chats on Twitter with hashtags

I also wrote the summary of the #MiFiMon discussion after the chat.  Below is the summary –


#MifiMon: Women and Microfinance



The following is a guest post by Sheethal Shobowale, Kiva Fellow at MFIs Asociación Arariwa in Cusco, Peru and Emprender in La Paz, Bolivia starting in January.

Interested in learning about microfinance? Follow our biweekly Twitter discussion group #mifimon (because Microfinance Mondays was too long for Twitter’s 140-character limit). Our aim is to host an exchange of ideas about issues relevant to the microfinance industry. You’re welcome to lend your voice, whether you’re a practitioner in the field or a newbie just learning the basics. Just end your messages with the hashtag #mifimon!

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Soy Andina, a documentary about Peruvian Dance, and Social Media

A few weeks before leaving for my Kiva Fellowship in Peru, I went to a reception and screening of a movie called Soy Andina at the New York Times building.  The director, Mitch Teplitsky, emailed me out of the blue after learning through Twitter from a friend, Hillmer Reyes, that I would be moving to Peru for several months.

I was somewhat ready for my work with Kiva/Arariwa, the amazingly nice people, the food, and the sights.  But the movie introduced me to Peruvian dance and music and the many festivals, and made me so much more excited to move to Peru.

The photos on display at the Times Center, by Doug Klostermann (his photos on Flickr), vividly brought out lives of Peruvian people.

Doug Klostermann's photos from Peru

One of Doug Klostermann's photos from Peru at the Soy Andina screening at the Times Center - click to see more on

Last week I got to witness my first Peruvian holiday when traffic was diverted to the other side the main avenue in Cusco, La Cultura.  The right side of the street was covered in colors and people were commemorating La Batalla de Angamos (translation courtesy of Google Translator).   And the day before yesterday there was another  celebration right outside my office, complete with brass band and Peruvian dances.

Peruvian dancers celebrating on Avenida Graciloso, right near the Asociación Arariwa office

Peruvian dancers celebrating on Avenida Graciloso, right near the Asociación Arariwa office

The connection I have to Hillmar, Mitch, and Soy Andina through Twitter is only one of  many I have made through social media.  Here are more examples:

FacebookWhen I found out I was chosen as a Kiva Fellow, I first emailed my husband and my family.  But soon after I posted a Facebook profile update saying I was excited about being a Kiva Fellow in Cusco, Peru.  Instantaneously I got responses from friends telling me they had friends for me to meet, restaurants recommendations, places to visit, etc.  It was an incredible outpouring of what we call “Kiva Love!

Couchsurfing I also joined the Cusco Group on Couchsurfing (a social media traveling site) and found a travel buddy for my first weekend to visit the Sacred Valley.  From California, he is officially my best friend in Cusco.  And through this group, several Peruvians in Cusco and surrounding towns have offered to meet up to show me around or teach my Peruvian cooking.  I am already part of the New York and Brooklyn groups and have both hosted and couchsurfed with some awesome people who have now become good friends.

Kiva Communities and Lending Teams I joined and posted on the Kiva New York Lending Team’s site that I would be representing our home town for Kiva in Cusco.  Now I am part of that conversation too.  And I plan to share with them the New Yorker’s eye view of Cusco (ie – the 4 train is more crowded than the combi I take to work everyday)

Ok, I could go on forever, but I’ll stop here.  Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Couchsurfing, Kiva Communities, etc…the power to connect through social media is incredible.

And to learn more about Soy Andina and learn about future screenings, please visit

You can find me on the following social media communities: