Stories tagged with Indonesia

Jan 1, 2011 ID Indonesia

If you asked me what I have learned about microfinance during my Kiva Fellowship, I wouldn’t know where to start. I have learned that running a social business comes with its share of challenges. I have learned that technology will pave new ways for the future of microfinance. I have learned that the best microfinance organizations have their clients at the heart of all their activities. I could go on and on about my impressions of microfinance from the last six months…but in my final blog post, I will spare you. Instead, below I share with you my 5 favorite images (from the 1,667 photos I...

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Jan 1, 2011 ID Indonesia

By Jerry Harter, KF13 Indonesia

During my three months in Bali, I gained an appreciation of people’s resourcefulness here.  I encountered many ways that people make a living.  Typically, families have multiple streams of income, although ‘trickles of income’ is a perhaps a more apt description.

Various small enterprises are cobbled together, depending on the resources and demand in the area.  Often some money can be made from the land – crops, bee keeping, pig farming, a little more can be made from manufacturing – handicrafts, wood carving, brick making, and...

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Jan 1, 2011 ID Indonesia

By Jerry Harter, KF13 Indonesia

Recently the Christian Church in Blimbingsari celebrated its 71th Anniversary.  As with many important occasions in Bali, this called for the roasting of a pig and making satay.  I had the privilege of attending this ceremony and enjoyed both an excellent meal and a wonderful example of community.

Array of Satay

When I arrived in Bali to begin my Kiva placement I wondered why so many people are engaged in pig farming here...

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Dec 12, 2010 ID Indonesia

By Jerry Harter, KF13 Indonesia

A micro-finance institution (MFI) is a social enterprise.  Unlike ordinary for-profit businesses, a social enterprise’s measure of success is its social agenda.  Nonetheless, it needs to be financially viable in order to continue doing its work.  The social agenda of micro-finance institutions is to alleviate poverty through the use of financial services for the poor, such as credit and savings services.  Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK), the MFI I’ve been working with as a Kiva Fellow in Bali, is a cooperative that operates much like a...

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Nov 11, 2010 ID Indonesia

By Jerry Harter, KF13 Indonesia

Riding on the back of Zeruya’s motor bike, I was on my way to visit the Taman Indah Group about 20 miles from the microfinance office, Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK).  After weaving through a chaotic maze of trucks, cycles, and cars, I was relieved to leave the main highway and turn down a quiet lane of paddy fields and cucumber farms.   Zeruya, my Kiva contact with MUK, wished his tires had less air to better handle the potholes – and my additional weight.  Ultimately we turned into a driveway where many of the group had already...

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Nov 11, 2010 ID Indonesia

By Jerry Harter, KF13 Indonesia

After a 24 hour plane ride from Seattle, I was looking forward to relaxing and recovering from jetlag before beginning my Kiva Fellowship in Bali.  Emerging from baggage claim at the Denpasar airport, I negotiated for a taxi to the town of Ubud.

Because of its reputation as an important center for Balinese culture and art, the town of Ubud in eastern Bali is a destination for most tourists who visit the island.  Its magic and charm are legendary.  Terraced paddy fields spread out a luscious green backdrop for a town that provides an...

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Nov 11, 2010 ID Indonesia

At the end of 2009, Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK) was a microfinance presence in West Bali, operating at its headquarters office in the village of Blimbingsari and a single branch in Melaya. As we approach the end of 2010, MUK’s footprint is steadily expanding. Earlier this year, the microfinance cooperative established a second branch office in Pejarakan, Singaraja in North Bali. And MUK is gearing up to open its third branch in the coming month, which will be based in the village of Baturiti in the Tabanan region of central Bali.

Baturiti is in the mountains of Bali, and with...

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Oct 10, 2010 ID Indonesia

Through backyard jungles they traipse armed with bb guns and with dogs trailing behind. They bang large wooden hammers against coconut trees, climb up and down the trees, and position themselves to point and shoot. 14 men on a mission: to protect their village gardens from squirrels. While in some parts of the world, hunting squirrels (the adorable, furry friends from childhood cartoons) does not sound so appealing, but here in west Bali, squirrels are pests, feeding on the coconuts and cacao fruit – from which people here make a living.

 

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Sep 9, 2010 ID Indonesia

On an island paradise where surfers from around the world come to catch the best waves, and honeymooners flock, I knew that volunteering in Bali as a Kiva Fellow I would see distinct contrasts in the lives of the people on this island.

Beach scene in Kuta

Gathering coconuts in rural West Bali

The most interesting contrasts to me, however, have not been those between tourists and locals, nor between hotel owners in Kuta and farm workers in rural Bali – although these differences are indeed sharp. Instead, working at Kiva’s...

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Aug 8, 2010 ID Indonesia

Growing up in New Zealand, where sheep abound and dairy is a vital part of the economy, I am ashamed to say that I know very little about farming. All that, however, has begun to change in the past couple of weeks, as I have started my Kiva Fellowship with Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK), based in Bali Indonesia. At MUK, most Kiva loans are taken out by groups of women who breed and raise pigs, and the organization has a seasoned vet on staff to provide advice for its clients.

Raising animals here is (in my limited knowledge) a very different and smaller scale enterprise than back home....

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