Mar 30, 2007
By Fiona Ramsey
Kiva.org announces first partnership in Vietnam: Mekong Plus
Kiva.org is proud to announce partnership with Mekong Plus, our first Field Partner in Vietnam:

Mekong Plus is an NGO of European origin that was registered in Vietnam in 1994, and has been working in Cambodia since 2004. Mainly focusing on community development and individual participation in the community development process, Mekong Plus works together with the ultra poor to create a more equal and sustainable world.

Mekong Plus believes in low cost, long-term solutions to poverty alleviation and sustainable developement. There is no particular "project" that Mekong focuses on, rather they maintain a network of partnerships and activities that they persue on an ongoing basis. As such, Mekong Plus' activities are very diverse. Their common thread, however, is that all the projects they persue are both proposed locally, and have great potential to achieve powerful social change in the communities they serve.

Mekong Plus is involved in micro credit (women's groups), agriculture extension promoting the best practices (less chemicals, more profit), the promotion of preventive health and hygiene, action theatre, active pedagogy in schools, waste recycling and production of compost, employment generation through handicraft sales, credit support and small local infrastructure improvment (roads and bridges). A growing program is also focusing on the ultra poor (around $100/year income), and another works to make sure children are at school during the day (it is virtually impossible to get out of deep poverty without a secondary education certificate).

In addition, Mekong Plus is involved in helping to resolve urgent and serious health problems, ensure minimum housing conditions and adminster micro credit and intensive technical support to entrepreneurs in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Mekong Plus believes no one can pretend to meet the huge challenges posed by poverty on its own, and certainly not a small NGO. As an organization it thus takes responsibility to not only act on, but also to report and inform sympathizers, donors and the general public about the living conditions of the poor in Cambodia and Vietnam. Mekong hopes that by sharing their stories with the greater world community, individuals from across the globe will join together to help alleviate poverty and support the enterprising individuals and communities of the two countries Mekong serves.

We are extremely excited to be partnering with Mekong Plus and furthering Kiva.org's reach within Asia. We hope you enjoy your lending experience through Mekong Plus!

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