boba

Fellows Blog Posts by boba

Jul 28, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

It has to be a devastating feeling to wake up one morning to find that 20% of your savings have vanished into thin air through no fault of your own. Unfortunately, that’s the reality that developing countries often have to deal with when their country’s financial systems are unable to keep the control over the value of their currency.

When I completed my Kiva Fellows placement in Tajikistan in early April, the local currency there was at around 3.80 Somoni to 1 USD. But something odd started to happen in the weeks to come. Somoni suddenly started to...

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Jul 23, 2009 KG Kyrgyzstan

Going full circle. Ferris Wheel in Bosteri, Issyk-Kul Lake Region, Kyrgyzstan

It was exactly half a year ago, on January 23rd, that I packed all of my belongings in one 30-pound backpack and left New York City for a 7 month trip to Central Asia and India. I only had a slightest idea of what the trip would wind being like and what exactly I’d be doing during all that time. I just knew that it was something that I had to try for myself, even if I couldn’t...

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Jul 20, 2009 KG Kyrgyzstan

Pre-Story: Hollywood Comes to Kyrgyzstan

Last week, our MFI was visited by a pair of filmmakers from Brazil who were shooting a documentary on microfinance and the impact it has on the lives of clients. Their plan was to travel the globe for 10 months and record customers, loan officers, and other microfinance specialists in different parts of the world. After shooting in Brazil and Russia, they were coming to Kyrgyzstan and turned to our organization to help them with the logistics.

We arranged for them to meet and interview several of our clients and staff...

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Jun 25, 2009 KG Kyrgyzstan

A Kiva entrepreneur in Kyrgyzstan who has also created a Center of Temporary Stay for Orphaned Children using her own funds and resources. Click to learn more.

By Boris Mordkovich, KF8 – Kyrgyzstan

After doing a Kiva Fellowship in Tajikistan during February and March of this year, I’ve returned to Kiva this summer to do another placement in Kyrgyzstan.

Within the first two weeks at the micro-finance institution, it became very clear that this...

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Mar 26, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

At 7:15am in the morning, I got into a car with my MFI’s boss and three other employees. They were headed to Kurgan-Tube, a town about 150km from the border of Afghanistan, to check out a few things at their local branch and offered me to come along. Since this would be a good opportunity to meet with a few micro-finance borrowers in that area, I jumped at the opportunity.

When I got to the branch office, one of their loan officers offered to take me to a handful of his clients that were coming to an end of paying back their loans. These are typical micro-finance customers and...

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Mar 13, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

Some of the borrowers I have met in the field

As I was visiting the MFI clients in the field, the borrower would often proudly annnounce that he or she was on their 5th loan… or their 7th loan… or even on the 9th one. Although this does show an impressive credit history, something about it was bothering me.

Before coming here, I had a few assumptions about what a business loan is...

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Feb 28, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

* image used for illustration purposes only; it is not an actual sign used by our MFI *

The end of the month is always a hectic period at my micro-finance institution. It’s considered to be a critical time to collect the late loan repayments, in order to reduce the amount of risk in the portfolio when the new month rolls around.

There are a number of meetings that take place among the loan officers and the management where the problem clients and groups – those...

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Feb 20, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

One of the reasons why so many people around the world are not eligible for traditional credit and financial services is because they don’t have any collateral to offer to the lender. However, ironically, collateral alone is often not enough anyway. If you look at traditional borrowers in the U.S., who take out mortgages while putting their house down as a collateral or other loans, the default rates are still quite high (even before the crisis).

So is physical collateral a necessity? Or can credit be given without it?

About 2 Percent

One of the...

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Feb 10, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

The consequences and impact of the international economic crisis has spread into all corners of the world – and Tajikistan is no exception.

In some ways, the impact of the crisis has not been as felt here as in the West. Most of the people here did not have their life savings in the stock market nor were they taking out 50-year, 0% down, adjustable rate mortgages (in fact, 30 year mortgages are unheard of here).

However, the crisis is here too and the true aftermath may simply be delayed.

How does Tajikistan play a role in the world...

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Feb 10, 2009 TJ Tajikistan

The consequences and impact of the international economic crisis has spread into all corners of the world – and Tajikistan is no exception.

In some ways, the impact of the crisis has not been as felt here as in the West. Most of the people here did not have their life savings in the stock market nor were they taking out 50-year, 0% down, adjustable rate mortgages (in fact, 30 year mortgages are unheard of here).

However, the crisis is here too and the true aftermath may simply be delayed.

How does Tajikistan play a role in the world...

Continue Reading >>


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