Stories tagged with Philippines

Nov 11, 2010 PH Philippines

At a busy center[1] meeting, a woman waits, among 50 other women, for her turn to meet with her loan officer and make a weekly loan repayment. In a different village in the Philippines, one woman collects repayments from her 50 other center members, then travels the distance to the nearest commercial center to make the weekly repayment for the entire group at a bank. Now, imagine a scenario where a borrower can simply go to a retailer in her village and make her loan repayment by text message. Sound interesting?

In a rural area served by NWTF – where mobile banking could...

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Nov 11, 2010 PH Philippines

Every day at 5pm Manila is blanketed with rain. I was nominally aware of this before I arrived, and spent a significant amount of time and a not insignificant amount of money equipping myself with waterproof Gortex jacket. To my dismay, I would have been better equipped with a golf umbrella and a pair of waders.  In the Philippines, the start of a downpour does not indicate a cold front moving in, indeed the air is stays so warm the effect resembles a hot shower. It is far too hot for my Gortex jacket, and the flooded streets make my pair of sneakers comically impractical.  Each day’s...

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Oct 10, 2010 PH Philippines

“We have Muslim brothers who avail (financial) services but the way they avail (these loans) is against our culture, against our beliefs.” ~Muslim leader, Davao, Mindanao

Islam first reached the southern shores of the Philippines during the 14th century and played a critical role in unifying kinship groups in several Filipino communities. With stronger networks of brotherhood and newfound Islamic faith, these communities were able to resist colonization by Spain and America for over 400 years, preserving their culture and religion. Today, though the majority of Muslim...

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Oct 10, 2010 PH Philippines

By John Rauschkolb III, KF-12, Philippines

They have a saying in Tagalog (native Filipino language), “hnd k mggng kuntento kung lagi mOng hnahnap ay ang gus2 o ninais mo, matuto kang mag-appreciate ng kung anung meron ka”.  The translation to English is “You can never be content if you keep looking for something that you do not have, so start counting and appreciate the things that you do have…”

Here at Alalay Sa Kaunlaran (ASKI), Inc. in the Philippines they have found a great way to show their staff they are appreciated.  As with many businesses in the U.S., the term...

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Oct 10, 2010 PH Philippines

As I noted in an earlier blog, the bulk of the Center for Community Transformation’s loans are made to small variety store owners for inventory restocking.  This capital is necessary, and often allows owners to diversify their offerings, but it is clear there are few opportunities for much business growth.  Competition is rampant, and demand local and limited.

It was inspiring then to meet a “round rag” maker in Manila who had developed partnerships with two companies interested in purchasing her rags.  The companies needed thousands for use in their factories, and the borrower was...

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Oct 10, 2010 PH Philippines

More than 100 people in the microfinance sector from over 40 different organizations, from Mongolia, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines, gathered at Kiva’s Asia-Pacific Conference in Manila. The weeklong event marked the first time that many of Kiva’s partners from all over Asia, as well as other microfinance organizations, were able to come together in one place. Though many issues were discussed, the conference was devoted largely to the topic of social performance.

Measuring social performance has become an increasingly important topic in the microfinance sector. With the...

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Oct 10, 2010 PH Philippines

The past couple weeks at CCT in Manila provided me with an opportunity to take a closer look at the multitude of poverty alleviation services the organization provides.  CCT targets several poverty groups (see diagram below), and tailors programs to each accordingly.  Micro-entrepreneurs, broadly categorized in the middle of the poverty pyramid, are the recipients of the small business loans posted on Kiva.  “Sufficiency” is the primary objective for this program, a mission reflected in the reality of loan utilization I observed in interviews with borrowers (primarily working capital...

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Sep 9, 2010 PH Philippines

By John Rauschkolb III, KF-12, Philippines

During my first lazy Sunday afternoon I sat outside, catching the rays and admiring the scenery.  A large ant farm freeway was busily working its way to and from it’s farm on the hill to a small apple core which was thrown there the day before.  The ants were diligent and tireless until 4:55 p.m.  GONE.  No ant to be seen and still plenty of apple core left to be consumed.  Why were they gone you ask?  They knew that in five minutes the rain would be coming and they needed to get to high ground.

While traveling in the...

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Sep 9, 2010 PH Philippines

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Last week I traveled to Trinidad, a municipality located in the northeast part of Bohol province. It takes approximately 2 ½ hours to get to this more rural area from Tagbilaran City. There are a handful of options one can select from when traveling between the two points, but the most common mode of transportation is the V-Hire (Van for Hire).

...

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Aug 8, 2010 PH Philippines

I have just completed my first two weeks at the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) in Manila, Philippines.  For those of you who followed Prem Thomas’s blog, the following account of my first impressions of Manila and CCT will likely seem familiar, but I hope you still find them interesting.

A first Jeepney ride through the heavy traffic congestion on Taft Street, the main thoroughfare through Ermita and Malate, gave me a quick introduction to the urban economy of the Philippines.  Despite the presence of familiar franchises (McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.) and some not so...

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