Nov 8, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
By Christina Cawth...
Supporting community during tragedy: Lending to borrowers in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan
Since hitting the Philippines on Friday, Typhoon Haiyan -- also known as Yolanda -- has sparked fear throughout the region of Southeast Asia. Travelling at speeds between 147 and 195 mph, the storm has hurled wind, heavy rain and lethal waves at coastal towns, claiming the lives of four people already and leaving more than 750,000 at risk.
 
With a current category level of 4 out of 5, Typhoon Haiyan is one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record and is steadily growing into a category 5 as it moves throughout Southeast Asia and specifically towards Vietnam. 
 
Right now, emergency response teams within the Philippines are struggling to reach affected areas, as much of the country’s infrastructure has been severely affected. Typhoon Haiyan has made roads and communications impossible, with fallen trees and downed power lines blocking key routes. 
 
As the storm continues to travel around the Philippines, causing substantial damage to homes and businesses, as well as jobs and health services, Typhoon Haiyan is set to have a serious and lasting impact on the entire surrounding region.  
 
 Updates from the Philippines: 
 
We'll continue to post updates on Kiva's Field Partners, borrowers, Fellows and field staff in the Philippines in our blog post here.
 

 

Comments

I'm willing to forgive my loan to help ease the burden on the wonderful people of the Philippines.

I am willing to donate my funds and have the loan forgiven in order to help those in the Philippines at this time.

My only wish is that I had more to give - will most definitely be donating my funds and forgiving the loan.

I, too, would like to forgive the balance of my loan to Alicia #537824 in Bogo, Cebu. I hope she and her family are all OK. Is there any direct way we can send funds to NWTF to help your workers get back on their feet so they can back to helping others?

I agree with all of the above. I think Kiva should create a one time option to either forgive philippine loans in the affected area or allow us to donate our Kiva funds directly. I would like to do this, and have a Kiva balance waiting. Please consider.

I just lent $25 to a woman in the Philippines. AND asked my friends to take advantage of the $25 free program to get started lending. It is fine with me if my loan is turned into a donation, if that is possible.

We'd love to us our class funds to directly support people affected by Yolanda. We'd rather the loan is a donation.

We'd love to us our class funds to directly support people affected by Yolanda. We'd rather the loan is a donation.

I would also like to my Philippines loan to become a donation.

Please change any outstanding balance on my loan(s) to Phillipine borrowers to a donation, and I intend to donate/loan more as well.

I think it would be a great thing if Kiva would create a one time option to forgive loans in the Philippines. I would be happy to forgive one loan I have there because I think the agency is in an area that is badly affected.

Folks, let us let the Field Partners decide which people can make the payments. Kiva's loans are at most 30% of each Field Partner's loans, and it would be very much luck if an individual was featured on Kiva or not. This could undermine the Field Partners' authority to have what could seem arbitrary repayment forgiveness. Also, it would be an administrative nightmare to track individuals who forgive parts of loans. In the past, Kenya has had major riots, and Kiva let the situation work itself out. There were many defaults. Let's focus on getting the current loans on Kiva funded and donating repayments to reputable organizations that work toward recovery in the Philippines.

I totally agree let Kiva do their Job with how it is set up and We should donate separately if we want to help that way , I agree they know the ones that need to be forgiven . I am so Happy I started with this program years ago It is not a hand out it is a hand up !! Thank you Kiva for all the hard work you do to help all your people .

My desire to forgive my portion of my borrowers loan is not about giving a hand out, it's about having compassion for someone who may be going through an unimaginable crisis. Yes, I agree with Colette that some Field Partner due diligence is needed but I will just add my perspective to the debate. My borrower happens to be in the hardest hit city in the Philippines, if she is still alive and if her store is still standing, and if she can still get product to stock her store, then sure keep my loan in place and let her continue to work to repay it. If however she is hurt, her family suffered a loss or her store is decimated, then I don't want my mesely $25 to contribute to one minute of stress to her and her family. She had already made a repayment, I know she is working hard, but my compassion tells me that in this very unique situation, perhaps we can be given the option to forgive this loan and not have the negative connotation of a default on her or the field partners record. I understand the need for field partners to maintain control and I understand that kiva is a loan service not a "hand out" but this is a pretty unique situation and I for one have no issues with Kiva or the Field Partner, after having done appropriate analysis, giving me the option to forigve my portion of this loan. I will in fact be the first one in line to lend to Nora again if she needs it, if she and her store are still there.

Is it possible to donate directly to NWTF? I don't find a donation link on their website. Could you provide information about how we could do that? Or do they recommend donating to one of the listed organizations that has mobilized for disaster relief rather than directly to NWTF?

For direct donations informatiion- visit NWTF Facebook page.

Don't worry about the money. I wish all people off the Philippines the best help they can get.

No need to pay me back. My loan is a gift. I just hope my Kiva borrower is OK.

No need to pay me back either. Please, see my loan as a gift. I really hope my Kiva borrower is OK.

The same for me. I hope this lady is in good health, with her family. She doesn't have to pay me back, consider the loan as a gift.

I would gladly forgive the loan to Victoria. It is just a little that I can do to help. Please let me know if this is possible.

I hope and pray that everyone is well and fine.

Please convert my loan to the lady in the Philippines into a donation/gift. Thanks!

Please convert my loan to the lady in the Philippines into a donation/gift. Thanks!

Consider my loan as a gift. See my loan as a gift. I hope that she and her family is in good health!

I would like my comment to stay up, as I consider it entirely appropriate. I have a great deal of sympathy for those hit in the Philippeans. But I have over 60% invested in charities there. I have approximately $2000 in loans there and it would be a hardship to just forgive the loans. If necessary, each person should be evaluated by the fieldworkers to see what their situation is. If the loaner decides to forgive the loan - that should be their own personal decision. I am not a rich person, but I have lent almost $8,000 total in Kiva Loans. How this is handled will be the deciding factor on whether I continue to loan to others. Some of us cannot afford to forgive debts worth thousands even though we feel very sorry for the people in the Philippeans.

Kathryn...I started this thread shortly after the typhoon because I have close personal friends in the Philippines which is a reason I choose to invest in loans there. Kiva is not, and based on my conversations with them, will not "forgive loans". The thread is simply a mix of people who wish to forgive their loans and a couple who would rather not. Let me be clear on a couple of aspects of this thread. This is a forum, meaning it is only ideas and debates from users. Kiva is not endorsing or participating in this discussion. Kiva is not set up to do donations and will not be forgiving loans in the affected area. There is no reason to be defensive about "how this is handled". However, one thing you MUST remember is that you are a lender and if you had money lent in the affected area, especially Tacloban there is a very real possibility that the lender can default on your loan and you will not see your money returned. It is a risk we all take in lending. No on is asking you to forgive your loans, I started this thread simply by saying I, personally am willing to forgive my loan to the person in Tacloban that may or may not still be alive. I personally only loan an amount of money I am willing to lose because I know my money is at risk the second it is lent out. This is why I am in a position to say I am willing to forgive. I respect your opinion to not be able to forgive because of the amount you have outstanding but again please remember this is a forum among users, not a discussion with Kiva and that Kiva will not be forgiving loans, but the risk of default in the affected area is much higher now and you should be prepared for the possibility of losing your investment.

Let me address this: For the many, whose spirit urges charity, I hope you will listen. KIVA was founded AFAIK to loan money. I have a total of just under $10,000 US in action in the Philippines. I recently added $1,000US to the portfolio, and was searching around, praying, for an insight. I logged on to my portfolio site, and to my amazement, $1,100US had been repaid by other clients. I promptly put that to use. Investments in street vendors, materials salvage, repair, and transportation were ideal targets. The idea is to get people back to work, rebuilding their lives. If I had to get medical supplies to some distant disaster area, I'd trust a local with a motorcycle, before I'd put four Marines in a Hummer. He speaks the language, and probably knows a shortcut to get there. I'm saying, keep doing what you're doing. Target your loans intelligently. Remember, that money can be used again and again. By very responsible people. GAWD bless your heart. FWIW: The original amount to lend has been used enough times to triple the moneys value. It works, if you make it work. I'm more proud of the people who behaved honorably BEFORE the storm. I intend to keep helping. I hope you do to.

Richard, I agree with your spirit and message 100%. As the originator of the thread, I will put forth some context as to why I said I did originally. I have close personal friends in the Philippines. I fell in love with the country and the spirit of its people almost instantly when I first went. I have loaned there several times and will continue to loan. When the storm hit, my messsage was, if i had an option to forgive this one loan for someone who was in Tacloban, the hardest hit city, I would forgive it. I would forgive it because in the midst of their crisis I didn't want my small loan to be on their mind for having to repay and I didn't want my borrower to have to face the negative connotation of a default. I get that some people wouldn't take that option and I respect that decision as yes this site is about empowering people through lending. My thought was, in this instance, in the face of a terrible tragedy, I would have loved an option to forgive this one loan. And if my borrower, if she is still alive, asked for another loan to rebuild her store, I would be the first in line. That being said, I have had discussions with Kiva and they don't have the mechanism to forgive loans. I get that, I respect that, I understand that. I will keep lending to the people of the Philippines and in the meantime I hope that Nora, my borrower is alive, I hope her family is alive and I hope her store is still standing. Everyone on this thread is doing the right thing. Let us not lose sight of the fact that we all took the time to research a loan, put up our own money and empower someone to improve their life. Whether it is a loan or a donation, I'm proud of my involvement with Kiva and I am humbled at all the others that also choose to participate. Keep up the great work everyone.

Let me address this: For the many, whose spirit urges charity, I hope you will listen. KIVA was founded AFAIK to loan money. I have a total of just under $10,000 US in action in the Philippines. I recently added $1,000US to the portfolio, and was searching around, praying, for an insight. I logged on to my portfolio site, and to my amazement, $1,100US had been repaid by other clients. I promptly put that to use. Investments in street vendors, materials salvage, repair, and transportation were ideal targets. The idea is to get people back to work, rebuilding their lives. If I had to get medical supplies to some distant disaster area, I'd trust a local with a motorcycle, before I'd put four Marines in a Hummer. He speaks the language, and probably knows a shortcut to get there. I'm saying, keep doing what you're doing. Target your loans intelligently. Remember, that money can be used again and again. By very responsible people. GAWD bless your heart. FWIW: The original amount to lend has been used enough times to triple the moneys value. It works, if you make it work. I'm more proud of the people who behaved honorably BEFORE the storm. I intend to keep helping. I hope you do to.

Please also consider my loan as a gift.

My family is one of the victim of haiyan here in the Philippines . Im a new member here and raising some funds to help my mother who lost her home for 30 years. Thank you all and god bless.

I am willing to forgive the loan to Cecil, please consider as a it as a gift. I do hope sheand her family are ok.

I live in the US but the island of Panay and the Province of Antique where I was born were also damaged by the recent typhoon. The damage was small compared to the big disaster in Leyte and Samar and did not get the publicity it deserves. Just the same, many business enterprises were damaged by this typhoon. Do you have a KIVA Partner in Panay so that we can help the people there? Thanks.

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Christina Cawth... After being given the chance to study abroad, Tina’s experience founded a love for diplomacy which was later developed through her studies. Originally from San Diego, Tina, moved to the Bay Area in order to attend San Francisco State University where she majored in International Relations with an emphasis in Middle Eastern Studies.Originally set to focus in environmental studies, Tina stumbled across foreign affairs which combines her areas of expertise - political science, activism and philosophy- with  her interests such as culture, tradition, language and art.  Looking to one day build a NGO dedicated to empowerment and sustainability, Tina sees Kiva as an excellent opportunity for both professional and personal growth. Outside of her internship, Tina enjoys running, cooking, hiking and lazy weekends. 

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