For much of the world, food is fuel. But far more than mere sustenance, food draws us together. It slows our pace and brightens each day. Calling upon all five senses, cusine...Continue Reading >>
Stories from Vietnam
Departed my family and friends in Ho Chi Minh, my flight arrived to Hanoi at noon, I could feel the heat and humidity even worse than Ho Chi Minh. A cab from airport to downtown Hanoi somehow eased the heat, it was a fixed price trip of 350.000VND (around $15). The host family was so...
Mrs. Pham Kieu Oanh is the founder and CEO of the Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP), a non-governmental and non-profit organization working to nurture social enterprises (SEs) in Vietnam to maximize their chances for success. CSIP is a critical partner providing intensive, early stage support to a select number of social entrepreneurs in the form of financial assistance, mentoring, networking, and promotional campaigns. Kiva is in the early stages of considering how we can partner with CSIP to help bring funding to social enterprises across Vietnam.
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We hope that you make a this a special day to remember your mothers and any other women who cared for you like a mother!
P.S. A Kiva Card makes a great last-minute gift!
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As someone who loves to eat, you have no idea how happy I was when I found out I was placed in Hanoi for my Kiva Fellowship. Vietnam has some of the absolute best food in the world.
Vietnamese dishes commonly use lemongrass, fish sauce, ginger, mint, basil, bird's eye chili, and lime in all sorts of delicious combinations. These distinct flavors combined...
Having spent my formative years in a moderately sheltered suburb, the first images that come to mind when I hear the word "commune" consist of a few dozen hippies living in the woods, probably sitting in drum circles, debating the evils of capitalism and how things should just...
Having spent the last month living and working in Vietnam's capital city, I've learned some interesting things about Vietnamese culture that are worth sharing.
1. Traffic is chaotic, yet road rage doesn't seem to exist: By far the most obvious difference. While a driver's license is technically required in Vietnam, the traffic code is rarely enforced and driving is basically a free-for-all. Motorbikes are the predominant mode of transportation due to their low cost and maneuverability, and moto drivers will squeeze into every...Continue Reading >>
By: Tran Chau, KF13, Viet Nam
Vietnam currently has 52 microfinance institutions offering microloans and other services to the impoverished. Kiva is partnered with three, SEDA in Hanoi, TYM in Hanoi, and FPW in Thanh Hoa. Of the 52 MFIs, only one, TYM, is officially licensed by the Vietnamese Government.
I attended the second annual microfinance conference hosted by Citigroup a couple weeks ago. There, TYM was invited to give a presentation on the future of microfinance in Vietnam. The MFI identified three external and internal...Continue Reading >>
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...Continue Reading >>