Stories tagged with Cambodia

May 5, 2010 KH Cambodia

by Teresa Dunbar, KF5, Cambodia and Philippines

It was the summer of 2008.  As I sat and watched the stock markets crash around the world from my Cambodian apartment, I could not help but get nervous about my job prospects post fellowship. At that point, I felt like I’d made a mistake by leaving a great job in philanthropy to follow my heart by becoming a Kiva Fellow to learn how microfinance works on the ground. I remember when I told my family of my decision, they thought I was crazy.  I was beginning to think they might be right. Watching US financial pillars crash and...

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May 5, 2010 KH Cambodia

Me and my colleagues getting our nails done!

Admist the client visits, operational costing, and process mapping, Kiva Fellows get to take some pretty amazing weekend escursions. Some of these trips take us to beautiful mountains, crystal blue volcanic lakes and still others take us to places impossible to imagine, until we’re there.

While watching the “Road Less Traveled” on Nat Geo the other night, the host said something, “To me travel is about...

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May 5, 2010 KH Cambodia

By Polai Av, KF10 Cambodia

What do you do when your client is delinquent because the business that they have been doing for years is no longer viable? Or their spouse was in a traffic accident and their expenses tripled? Traditionally, MFIs will seize client’s assets or continue to pressure the borrowers, collecting any amount of money they can get. But this doesn’t help the borrowers or the MFI. The MFI might never recover the money, and if they were to, the time and effort of the client officer is costly. The clients are back to where they started, if not worse, than...

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Apr 4, 2010 KH Cambodia

Yes! And I’ll say again!

Consumption! Consumption! Consumption!

But don’t worry, I’m here to tell you that Consumption is not a dirty word!

Before I became a Kiva Fellow, I was a Kiva Lender, and whenever I saw a consumption loan, I admit, I “clicked” away. I judged these loans, labeled them, and stuck them in a box called, “Lame: borrowers lack initiative.” My thinking was, “Why don’t borrowers just concentrate on improving their business, and then they could save-up their profits for X.”

The problem: I was...

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Mar 3, 2010 KH Cambodia

Adam Kogeman, KF10, Cambodia

Lend to a borrower in Cambodia and you’re making a sound investment.  Aside from exhibiting extremely low loan default rates, Cambodian Kiva borrowers are clients of well-established and well-run microfinance organizations.  They live in a country that enjoyed double-digit economic growth for much of the past decade, doubling per-capita income in the process.  While praising the benefits of this growth in alleviating poverty and improving quality of life here, in 2009 the World Bank cautioned that this growth is “unlikely to be sustainable in...

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Mar 3, 2010 KH Cambodia

Left to Right - Mr Rithy, Chief of Operations, Bony and Norm, housekeeping, and Ms. Sive Chheng, Deputy Operations Officer celebrate Maxima's 10th Birthday!

If you think YOU work hard (well, you probably do) but so does my MFI….

I am a Kiva Fellow currently volunteering with one of Kiva’s Micorfinance Partner’s, Maxima, in Cambodia. MAXIMA MIKROHERANHVATHO CO., LTD was founded in March 2000 by a group of friends...

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Mar 3, 2010 KH Cambodia

Adam Kogeman, KF10, Cambodia

The other night, I was on the back of a moto entering a major intersection.  It was a typical Phnom Penh intersection: motos, tuk-tuks, cars, trucks and bicycles waited their turn to cross.  Each driver determined the most desirable path for their vehicle and the many modes of transport were propelled at each other from seven different directions, narrowly avoiding head-on and sideways collisions, often within a hairs width.  I tucked my knees in closer to the moto as we navigated straight down the densely packed street, slowing to allow a car...

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Feb 2, 2010 KH Cambodia

Hello! My name is Polai and I am the new Kiva Fellow at field partner AMK. I arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia a little over a week ago. As I start my second week here, I wanted to reflect on my experience so far being Kiva’s first Khmer speaking fellow and a Cambodian-American living here. Here are some thoughts:

- Me as an Asian-American vs. a Cambodian-Khmer-speaking-American. In one instance, I went apartment hunting with my boyfriend (tall white American) here and at one of the apartments when we were introduced to the female apartment manager, the woman glossed...

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Feb 2, 2010 KH Cambodia

Inspired by Nicholas Kristof’s latest blog post: The Role of Microfinance

Microfinance is “the most visible innovation in anti-poverty policy in the last half century.” Because of this, many have put such high expectations on the effects of microfinance and the pace at which it can have an impact on ending poverty. Some have even called it the panacea for poverty.

The truth is, microfinance alone cannot end poverty and anyone who is involved in microfinance will tell you the same. But before you start freaking out and withdrawing all of your Kiva credit, let’s look at what...

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Feb 2, 2010 KH Cambodia

Social Performance Monitoring

This morning, I fly to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to begin three months as a Kiva Fellow at CREDIT, one of Kiva’s longest standing field partners.  Along with Bryan Goldfinger in Nicaragua and Nishita Roy in Lebanon, I will be one of three Kiva Fellows pilot testing Social Performance Monitoring at several field partners (in addition to conducting the more traditional duties of a Kiva Fellow).  Measuring a microfinance institution’s “social” performance, in addition to financial performance, is an increasingly important facet of microfinance...

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