Stories tagged with SEDA (Binh Minh)

Nov 11, 2010 VN Vietnam

The Interior of Dong Xuan Market

By:  Tran Chau, KF13, Viet Nam

Modern shopping centers and supermarkets are new to Vietnam.  They are frequented mostly by the small and powerful middle class, have western products, and carry western price tags.   For the rest of the nation and for those who favor the established ways of the east, traditional open air and partially enclosed markets...

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Nov 11, 2010 VN Vietnam

This is less than $25!!

By:  Tran Chau, KF13, Viet Nam

I am a multi-millionaire, in Vietnamese Dong that is.  The Vietnamese Dong (“VND”) is the official currency of Vietnam.  The official exchange rate (a black market one also exists) hovers around $1 = 19,500 VND.  Therefore in nearly all business transactions in Vietnam, millions, billions, and even trillions of VND change hands.In 2009, Vietnamese GDP was estimated at $92.4...

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May 5, 2010 VN Vietnam

By Elena Kuehn, KF 11, Viet nam

Viet nam is a country bursting of energy, activity and a continuous striving of the people to improve their living standards and enable their children to lead a better life. To achieve this people are willing to work incredibly hard. That makes Vietnam a great place for microfinance activities. And not only are the people ready to take on hard work, there is also a financial growth that rewards the effort. In this atmosphere of growth microfinance provides poor families in this country with the means to participate in this growth....

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Apr 4, 2010 VN Vietnam
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It’s funny how death makes a person keenly aware of their responsibilities. You think about all the wrongs you  need to right, the people with whom you need to make amends, and the debts you need to repay. You’re lucky if you’ve never faced death. If you live in a developed country like the United States, things like tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases and stomach cancer don’t make it on the...

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Apr 4, 2010 VN Vietnam
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Dear Lender,

If you’re tuning in for the first time, you’re in for a treat!  Watch as a group of women in a remote province of northern Vietnam receive access to credit for the very first time.  Feel their hope, hear their fears, and share in the laughter =)

This is the last of a 3-part video blogging series in which I attempt to give you a snapshot of the person-to-person experience you...

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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 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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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

Ms. Nguyen Thuy Minh, a Kiva borrower with SEDA

One of my main roles as a fellow with SEDA in Vietnam is interviewing borrowers and then writing a journal update so that lenders can see how the borrower is doing. I have many questions that I like to ask most of the borrowers and one of my favorites is quite simple: What did you do before you started this particular business? This question is great because it really helps me learn about the person I’m interviewing; their...

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Mar 3, 2009 VN Vietnam
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In Vietnam, the beginning of spring is marked by a very large festival called the Tet Festival where the symbol of the Lunar New Year and spring awakening is the arrival of the blooming kumquat and peach trees. Unfortunately, I missed this festival by just a week or so before arriving in Hanoi. While I missed the actual Tet festival, the festivities do not stop that soon:...

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