Stories tagged with All

Mar 3, 2009 KH Cambodia

Banking conferences in and of themselves are really boring. I attended my share of them as a corporate banking analyst in New York City. Keynote speakers, break-out sessions, networking events, and trade shows all packed into two days of conference center bliss. The Cambodia National Banking Conference held in Phnom Penh February 19-20th was no exception to this formula, however, it was by far the most exciting and significant BORING banking conference I have ever attended.

My name is Katie Davis and I am a new Kiva Fellow (KF7...

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Feb 2, 2009

I had a wonderful time in Haiti, despite the major challenges the country faces. The people, culture, music, art, food and colors kept me fascinated the short time I was there. Kiva will soon be working in Haiti with the amazing help of Esperanza/Hope International! I was given the opportunity to see micro finance in action, and I was impressed.

 
We visited two communities that have received Esperanza micro loans. It was interesting to see how each entrepreneur had such a niche market. For example, one gentleman we talked to bought phone cards and then resold them at...
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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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