Stories tagged with MLO HUMO

Feb 2, 2013 TJ Tajikistan
What? Where? Tajikistan is the poorest of the former Soviet states. It shares borders with Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Let’s just say that my first 24 hours in Tajikistan were nothing short of a nightmare. After navigating my way through an airport that would have to take out first prize as the worst in the world, I was in for an initiation like no other. I was caught in a car blockade, amidst a drug bust, and surrounded by black leather clad men clutching AK47s. My visa... Continue Reading >>
Dec 12, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

By Carrie Piesen, KF13, Tajikistan

As part of the application process for the Kiva Fellowship, prospective fellows have to submit a ranking of countries where they hope to be sent for their placement.  I’m sure Thailand, Samoa, and Costa Rica are lovely at this time of year, but there was little doubt in my mind as to which would be first on my list – what could be better than winter in Tajikistan?

This country has it all!  You want mountains?  They make up 93% of the country, making it one of the highest and most mountainous on earth.  Clear skies?...

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Sep 9, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

What do Hillary Clinton, Dmitry Medvedev, Islam Karimov, and 2 Kiva Fellows have in common?

We all took time last week to wish Tajikistan a happy 19th anniversary of Independence — declared on September 9, 1991.

Tajikistan’s strategic location in Central Asia, along the ancient Silk Road trade routes, has helped make it a key partner for many of the world’s leading powers (demonstrated by the diverse group of politicians sending their regards to Tajikistan’s President). 

As the nation balances diplomatic and economic interests with countries...

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Aug 8, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

If you look up Tajikistan on Kiva you can find some loans for 50$ and 75$, but you also can find 4,000$ loans. On average farming vegetables and fruit loans are between 125$-900$ (there are those that are over, but the good portion lie within this range). These loans are small compared to the rest of the loans from Tajikistan, but they have monumental impact.

If you read any of the economic stats on Tajikistan a few things jump out at you. Number one) they do not export a lot and number two) the area in which to make these commodities are few and far between. The list of exports are...

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Aug 8, 2010 TJ Tajikistan

By Donald Hart, KF12, Tajikistan 

Central Asia is famous for its hospitality.  As I set out for my fellowship in Tajikistan with minimal, (scratch that, zero) Russian or Tajik language ability – I had little else to rely on. 

My first week as a guest of Farrukh, one of the staff at Kiva’s Field Partner, Humo, has meant the following: 

  • Always being poured the first cup of tea among a group
  • Always being the first to be served a plate of food
  • Inviting me to stay at his home upon arrival
  • Opening his pantry to offer me food
  • ...
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Jul 7, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

It has to be a devastating feeling to wake up one morning to find that 20% of your savings have vanished into thin air through no fault of your own. Unfortunately, that’s the reality that developing countries often have to deal with when their country’s financial systems are unable to keep the control over the value of their currency.

When I completed my Kiva Fellows placement in Tajikistan in early April, the local currency there was at around 3.80 Somoni to 1 USD. But something odd started to happen in the weeks to come. Somoni suddenly started to...

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Mar 3, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

At 7:15am in the morning, I got into a car with my MFI’s boss and three other employees. They were headed to Kurgan-Tube, a town about 150km from the border of Afghanistan, to check out a few things at their local branch and offered me to come along. Since this would be a good opportunity to meet with a few micro-finance borrowers in that area, I jumped at the opportunity.

When I got to the branch office, one of their loan officers offered to take me to a handful of his clients that were coming to an end of paying back their loans. These are typical micro-finance customers and...

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Mar 3, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

Some of the borrowers I have met in the field

As I was visiting the MFI clients in the field, the borrower would often proudly annnounce that he or she was on their 5th loan… or their 7th loan… or even on the 9th one. Although this does show an impressive credit history, something about it was bothering me.

Before coming here, I had a few assumptions about what a business loan is...

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Feb 2, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

* image used for illustration purposes only; it is not an actual sign used by our MFI *

The end of the month is always a hectic period at my micro-finance institution. It’s considered to be a critical time to collect the late loan repayments, in order to reduce the amount of risk in the portfolio when the new month rolls around.

There are a number of meetings that take place among the loan officers and the management where the problem clients and groups – those...

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Feb 2, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

One of the reasons why so many people around the world are not eligible for traditional credit and financial services is because they don’t have any collateral to offer to the lender. However, ironically, collateral alone is often not enough anyway. If you look at traditional borrowers in the U.S., who take out mortgages while putting their house down as a collateral or other loans, the default rates are still quite high (even before the crisis).

So is physical collateral a necessity? Or can credit be given without it?

About 2 Percent

One of the...

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