Stories tagged with Cambodia

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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Jan 1, 2010 KH Cambodia

By Gemma North, KF9, Cambodia

I spend a lot of time walking the streets of Phnom Penh.  This is not a common practice for Cambodians, who know better than to try and navigate the chaotic sidewalks which are essentially an outdoor extension of stores, restaurants and living rooms, or even spaces for entirely separate businesses such as bicycle repairmen, women selling barbecued chicken feet, or mobile phone refill kiosks.  Yet I enjoy steering through this obstacle course as it allows me to take in, and slowly understand the details and habits that make up peoples’ daily...

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Dec 12, 2009 AM Armenia

By KF9, All Over The World

Merry Christmas! This holiday season Kiva Fellows are celebrating Christmas all over the world, in all sorts of different ways. Whether it be traveling, feasting, or working hard to bring you some additional Kiva magic over the holidays, it’s safe to say we’re all thankful to be serving as Kiva Fellows and glad to have found a wonderful community in Kiva.

We wanted to share what Christmas is like for KF9ers out in the field and around the world. So enjoy – and happy holidays!

In no particular order:

...

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Dec 12, 2009 KH Cambodia

By Gemma North, KF9, Cambodia

So goes my Cambodian colleague’s expression on the value of experience.  It has been just over a week since I arrived in Phnom Penh to begin my fellowship with CREDIT.  Before coming I had done some reading on Cambodia’s history and culture, but had tried to arrive without any preconceived notions.  After spending just a short time in the field however, it became clear that I had brought along my “western” mind and misconceptions.  Luckily, I have had the chance to address a few of my assumptions on microfinance.  ...

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Nov 11, 2009 KH Cambodia

by James Han, KF9 Cambodia (AMK)

We typically measure the impact of microfinance through financial measures.  What interest rates are the microfinance institutions (MFIs) charging? Has the client’s business experienced increased profits?  Has a population increased its household income?  These are all valid questions and are at the center of measuring the effectiveness of microfinance.

But, I was recently inspired by the broader social impact that microfinance can have.  While the “social bottom line” may not be as quantifiable as interest rates or household income,...

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Oct 10, 2009 KH Cambodia

by James Han, KF9 Cambodia (AMK)

AMK's new home office in Phnom Penh

Sus-Dai (Hello)! My name is James Han and I recently took a 3-month leave of absence from my management consulting career to work in Cambodia with Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK), currently Kiva’s largest field partner.  I’m thrilled to see first-hand how AMK operates as they are one of the most well-respected and efficiently operated MFIs in SE Asia (more to come on that...

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Jun 6, 2009 KH Cambodia

This Wednesday marked a watershed moment for Kiva.org: borrowers from the U.S. made a well-publicized debut on the person-to-person microlending website. It left no doubt that microcredit, seen by many as the province of the poor, had arrived to serve Americans in need.

The floodgates are open, and they sluice both ways.

Kiva’s launch of lending in the U.S. has impassioned many, including a group of people in Cambodia near and dear to me — the staff of Maxima Mikroheranvatho, a Kiva partner microfinance institution where I was a Kiva Fellow from October 2008 to...

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Jun 6, 2009 KH Cambodia

By design, Microfinance is not sustainable without the dedication of hundreds of thousands of Credit Officers (CO’s) working for Microfinance Institutions (MFI’s) around the world. The Kiva online person-to -person (P2P) lending platform only works because CO’s employed by the 95 Kiva Field Partners in 44 countries are out visiting clients, taking pictures and writing business profiles for our website in addition to their regular loan disbursements and repayment collections. My job as a Kiva Fellow at AMK in Cambodia also relies heavily on the CO’s who bring me out to the field so that I...

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