Stories tagged with All

Feb 2, 2009 ID Indonesia

The morning commute to the DINARI office on my motorbike no longer takes 30 minutes since I found all the shortcuts (by getting thoroughly lost) so I hesitantly say that I’ve “hit my stride” here in Bali.  Nothing wakes you up like an exhilarating bike ride at 7:30 am, dodging erratic drivers, enormous potholes, stray dogs, pedestrians in the middle of the road, and excessively crowded streets.

Last Sunday I loaded up my bike, said farewell to my two roommates from Jakarta and started the 2-3 hour drive, solo, to the DINARI office in Melaya, a small city in west...

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Feb 2, 2009 GT Guatemala

Many of my friends and family have been shocked, when I explained to them that microcredit loans often carry (what we would consider) usurious/oppressive interest rates. Many of them have asked me how ANYONE could justify interest rates of 30 or 50 or even 100%?

I have tried to explain all the factors that go into how a microfinance bank determines just how much interest it must charge in order to remain a viable business.

I go through the litany of factors contributing to the “high” interest rates—-the fact that it costs as much (or more) to make a $300 loan as it does...

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Feb 2, 2009 HN Honduras

Yesterday all the loan officers and agency coordinators from all over Honduras gathered in the small conference room in Prisma’s main office summarize, discuss and clarify the way Kiva would be implemented in the coming year. This was the final day and our final hurrah. I was so honored that they considered my assistance and their partnership with Kiva worth the administrative cost of bringing everyone together for a day- effectively halting all normal activity. The loan officers from San Lorenzo and Choluteca were up at 3 in the morning to catch the bus to the capital and surely didn’t...

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Feb 2, 2009 HN Honduras

Yesterday all the loan officers and agency coordinators from all over Honduras gathered in the small conference room in Prisma’s main office summarize, discuss and clarify the way Kiva would be implemented in the coming year. This was the final day and our final hurrah. I was so honored that they considered my assistance and their partnership with Kiva worth the administrative cost of bringing everyone together for a day- effectively halting all normal activity. The loan officers from San Lorenzo and Choluteca were up at 3 in the morning to catch the bus to the capital and surely didn’t...

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Feb 2, 2009 PH Philippines

I really struggled for a catchy title on this post but failed miserably.  Hang in there – I promise it gets better.

One of the nagging questions I’ve always had about microfinance is – how does it scale?  It’s particularly relevant here in the Philippines where Community Economic Venture’s (CEV) maximum loan is $450.  A typical loan officer has about 350 clients who are often scattered across the countryside down dirt roads in distant communities.  On a recent trip to Mindanao I had an opportunity to find out the nuts and bolts of how your dollars reach...

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Feb 2, 2009 PH Philippines

I really struggled for a catchy title on this post but failed miserably.  Hang in there – I promise it gets better.

One of the nagging questions I’ve always had about microfinance is – how does it scale?  It’s particularly relevant here in the Philippines where Community Economic Venture’s (CEV) maximum loan is $450.  A typical loan officer has about 350 clients who are often scattered across the countryside down dirt roads in distant communities.  On a recent trip to Mindanao I had an opportunity to find out the nuts and bolts of how your dollars reach...

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Feb 2, 2009 PY Paraguay
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Kiva training is done. My bags are packed. I’m about as ready as I can be to make it from San Diego, to LAX, to Houston, to Buenos Aires, and then on to Asuncion, Paraguay.  So, here I am, ready to depart for another meet and greet with customs officials, and it seems appropriate to spend a little time thinking and sharing about why, exactly, I’ve decided to hit the road again.  On...

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Feb 2, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

Pamir Mountains - Photo by Oytun Orguil

When I set out to research Tajikistan a few months ago, I figured that it would be challenging but didn’t realize exactly how difficult it would be to find accurate, up-to-date information on this small, land-locked country in Central Asia.

Aside from a single chapter in a Central Asia guidebook by Lonely Planet and a few websites, there is relatively little information available for those interested in traveling to...

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Jan 1, 2009 DO Dominican Republic

After approximately a year of waiting I finally made it to my destination: the micro finance institute (MFI) Esperanza/Hope International located in balmy, beautiful Santo Domingo! Kalie Gold (another Kiva Fellow) and Analin (Kiva Coordinator) have been gracious enough to show me the ropes, and there is plenty to do. Right now we are currently working on designing a short training course for getting better profile pictures, more journal updates, getting documents sent on a timely manner, etc.

I was really excited to learn that Esperanza/Hope International are getting ready to launch...

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Jan 1, 2009 KH Cambodia

Like the windshield on a motor-taxi in Phnom Penh rush hour, transparency is vital to Kiva’s survival. To give interest-free loans, lenders deserve to know that every cent of their money is being distributed exactly as promised, whilst borrowers have the right not to be misrepresented.

An important aspect of this transparency, and one which Kiva takes very seriously, is the integrity of the data on its website. Allowing inaccurate data is the first step towards encouraging fraud on the site, which would have severe reputational consequences for Kiva.

A key data check is...

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