By Alex Duong, KF9, Vietnam
The CIA World Factbook provides the following details for Vietnam -
Population median age: 27.4
Percentage of population living in urban areas: 28%
Literacy rate: 90.3%
GPD growth rate: 6.2% in 2008, 8.5% in 2007
Unemployment rate: 4.7%
Leaving aside the recent inflation spike, Vietnam offers a young, competent, and dynamic environment that is ripe for putting microfinance to work.
My name is Alex and I will be the only 9th class Kiva Fellow in Vietnam (starting in December). Without a doubt, Kiva continues a series of amazing curveballs that life tosses at me. I would never have dreamed of leaving work and all that is familiar in Southern California for this. However, Kiva somehow appeared in Google results one day as I was scaling the consulting corporate ladder.
Training was just completed last week. After applying for the fellowship nearly five months ago, the duties have now been bestowed. The depth of character within each member of Kiva Fellow’s 9th class is humbling. Not everyone is a financial guru or video-making whizz but therein lies our strength. To see such a variety of backgrounds yet know that each individual can equally carry out Kiva’s mission while abroad is incredible. Make sure to stop by frequently and watch our journeys unfold. I have no doubt the stories we post will be genuine and passionate.
Lastly, I want to thank both Scott and Mike of Infusion Lounge for providing space to host my fundraiser in San Francisco. Their generosity is greatly appreciated. /ALEX