Stories tagged with Cambodia

Aug 8, 2010 KH Cambodia

By Shirley Fong, KF12, Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea, Cambodia

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… no, it’s an AMK credit officer!

Much like a superhero, credit officers are the understated motor that keeps the loan system running.  Their continued daily gruel brings loaned monies to those who need it.  After a day in the field, I am worn down to the fibers of my soul from the long hours of heat exhaustion, heavy rain (during Cambodia’s monsoon season), and navigating a loud, clunky motorcycle on unpaved roads mapless. But I realize I have no reason to complain – credit...

Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2010 KH Cambodia

The standard salutation in Cambodia is Sua s’dai, “Hello,” followed by Nham bay howie nov? or “Have you eaten?” For the rest of the day, if you see someone a second or third time you don’t need to bother with any greeting–other than inquiring about their lunch or dinner.

This isn’t limited to when speaking Khmer, either. When I arrive at work at MAXIMA, my co-workers immediately ask me–in English–if I have had breakfast. Kiva borrowers ask me, via the credit officers, if I’ve eaten yet when I arrive at their...

Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2010 KH Cambodia

By Shirley Fong, KF12, Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea, Cambodia

I’ve made it through my first week here in Cambodia, and so far it has been amazing! I still get the occasional, “Why are you doing this?” question from curious friends and family back at home, and my answer to them is “Why not?” My decision to become a Kiva fellow was easy; I wanted to gain hands on experience in microfinance. Yesterday, I went out to the field for the first time to meet the borrowers. I was thoroughly humbled and inspired by the people I met and the stories that they had to tell. I am...

Continue Reading >>
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...

Continue Reading >>
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...

Continue Reading >>
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...

Continue Reading >>
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...

Continue Reading >>
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...

Continue Reading >>
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...

Continue Reading >>
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...

Continue Reading >>

Pages