Stories tagged with Vietnam

Dec 12, 2009 WS Samoa

By Alex Duong, KF9, Vietnam

I’m going to let you in on a secret: Kiva is one big hunk of love.  Understanding the phrase ‘Kiva love machine’ sheds light on what motivates the work of Kiva fellows everyday.  Why does Rebecca Corey rise at 5:30AM to catch the bus to work?  Why does Thomas Gold risk driving in deathly traffic?  Read on to learn about the bond that unites fellows.

‘Kiva love machine’ exists and spreads because Kiva is about connecting people.  It is infectious and most powerfully displayed through the generosity of everyday...

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Oct 10, 2009 VN Vietnam

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 (...

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Aug 8, 2009 VN Vietnam

By Hanh Tran, KF8 – Fund for Thanh Hoa Poor Women (FPW) – Vietnam

I never leave home without my camera these days. But there are many instances when I fail to pull it out in time to capture some of the interesting things I pass on the street everyday.

Peddling Bamboo

Then there are times when I am tired of filming or when I capture a moment on video and find myself debating what I should do with it. When you are interviewing people each day and...

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Aug 8, 2009 VN Vietnam

by Michael Kasseris

Often times life is like a boxing match. You’re put into the ring with a challenge and you have some rounds to hash it out.  Once you’re in this figurative ring you have a few options: you can get scared and jump out of the ring, you could dance around for a few rounds, or you can try to engage the challenge and see how you hold up.  I know this metaphor sounds incredibly cliché, however it reminds me of a phrase our Fellows director told us way back in San Fran.  To prepare us for our experiences in the “microfinance mundo,” ( I borrowed this from Susan Arthur,...

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Jul 7, 2009 VN Vietnam

By Hanh Tran, KF8 – Fund for Thanh Hoa Poor Women (FPW) – Vietnam

Visiting borrowers during the past three weeks has taught me that interviews can take place just about anywhere– standing in the middle of a noisy market, sitting on very short stools near a street stall or squatting on someone’s kitchen floor.

Earlier this week, Ms. Ha, a credit officer at the Fund for Thanh Hoa Poor Women (FPW), offered to take me to three repayment meetings. I grabbed my bag – which nowadays contains my handy Flip video camera, a notepad, my...

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Jul 7, 2009 VN Vietnam

by Michael Kasseris

There wasn’t much wind blowing through Hanoi that morning. The air was heavy and humid, like every step I took was like walking through a pool of water. It was my first morning in Hanoi and I needed to cross the street my hotel was on to hail a taxi. As I stepped closer to the edge of the sidewalk I noticed how fast the air was moving across my face. A swarm of motorbikes, taxis and trucks racing through the street swept the air past me and blew a cloud of dust in my eyes. Before I knew it my chances of crossing the street were over and the violent current of...

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Jun 6, 2009 VN Vietnam

Total chaos can be beautiful. Horns honk at me from left to right and the vibrations jump from one ear to the other. A river of motorbikes (xe oms) race past my taxi window. There appears to be no traffic lights, no speed limits and few rules. I stop to listen and start to see life—life as it is lived in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Having spent some time in Hanoi as an undergraduate, the bustling sounds of the Old Quarter are familiar and comforting. The streets lined with booming businesses of every sort are images that come to mind when I think about microfinance and entrepreneurship in...

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May 5, 2009 VN Vietnam

Microfinance, while not the cure-all tool for development, is a very powerful tool for poverty reduction in the developing world. We’ve all heard the effect it has on poverty as portrayed in numerous academic studies and from sources like Muhammad Yunus. Because of my infatuation with microfinance I started wondering what other impact microfinance has had on development issues such as inequality. After a quick search on UC Berkeley’s academic journal search tool I only found one (one?!!) article which even mentioned inequality. This was evidence to me that microfinance is still in its...

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Mar 3, 2009 VN Vietnam

According to the author of Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell, Asians are typically better at math because rice farming is so much more labor and time intensive than all other forms of agriculture. While we don’t necessarily agree with the math side of his argument, we agree with the difficulty of rice farming.

Many of the Vietnamese Kiva borrowers are themselves rice farmers. In order to appreciate and gain a sense of what the life of a Vietnamese Kiva borrower is like, we, the two Kiva Fellows in Vietnam, took the...

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Mar 3, 2009 VN Vietnam

(cont’d from Kiva Fellows IN the field – Part 1)

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