evacwu

Fellows Blog Posts by evacwu

Feb 28, 2010 PH Philippines

By Eva Wu, KF9 Philippines

Imagine you’re a loan officer who’s working for one of Kiva’s partner MFIs. You’ve been traveling around the field, collecting repayments from quite a few clients over the course of the day. It’s getting late, and you’ve amassed a huge amount of cash – the equivalent of a few months’ worth of income for locals. As the sun begins to set, you realize you’re still at least an hour away from the office – an hour’s worth of travel on your motorcycle, over rough roads that are poorly (if...

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Feb 14, 2010 PH Philippines

By Eva Wu, KF9 Philippines

Having read Meg’s excellent blog post “Bad Roads, Interest Rates, and MFI Sustainability” and the ensuing comments from Kiva lenders, I admit that I was rather baffled. Particularly by comments that varied upon the theme of: “In the U.S. you can get loans for ~8%! You can get credit for 18% interest, which we find high and oppressive! So how can MFIs charge 36% interest rates on loans to their poor clients, it is usurious, it can’t be justified…” so on and so forth.

I believe that if you were to...

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Dec 25, 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 5, 2009 PH Philippines

By Eva Wu, KF9 Philippines

Every time I come back from the field, I’m weighed down by videos, photos, barely legible notebook scribbles. Stories from Kiva borrowers, the good and the bad. As I turn these stories into journals I try to imagine what it would be like to be a Kiva lender on the other side, receiving an update on the Kiva borrower that they chose to fund. There’s a lot of joy in sharing the good, the success stories, a cause for celebration. Why we’re proud to be lending through Kiva. But what about the bad, stories of something gone awry? How...

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Nov 25, 2009 PH Philippines

By Eva Wu, KF9 Philippines

The world has been abuzz with Monday’s news of the election “massacre” in Maguindanao, Mindanao. About 50 lawyers, journalists and relatives of local politicians were abducted and brutally killed because of their affiliation with an opposition politician. This horrific event is being followed closely by the international media, including the New York Times and CNN, because it made Monday “the deadliest single day for journalists anywhere in the world” and was also “the worst politically motivated violence in the Philippines’ recent history.”...

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Nov 12, 2009 PH Philippines

By Eva Wu, KF9 Philippines

Having followed the recent debate over Kiva’s transparency and the P2P model, the main critique that stuck with me was that there should be more transparency on Kiva’s partner MFIs. This resonated with me because I believe that Kiva has, on the whole, picked out partner MFIs that do amazing work and have really compelling stories to tell about their organization. So in that spirit, I’ve decided to share more details here about some of the products and services that my host MFI, Hagdan sa Pag-uswag Foundation, Inc....

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Nov 6, 2009 PH Philippines

By Eva Wu, KF9 Philippines

Bizarre is probably not the best word to describe this client interview, but without a doubt we were intrigued and utterly fascinated by the alien-looking blob we saw sitting pretty before us. Corroi, HSPFI‘s Kiva Coordinator and I found ourselves staring at a live (or semi-live) sea cucumber during a visit to HSPFI client and Kiva borrower Ann Lagrada on Camiguin Island.

(This is the second part of my “most memorable client interviews on Camiguin” series – check out “The Most Beautiful Client...

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Nov 3, 2009 PH Philippines

By Eva Wu, KF9 Philippines

I experienced a lot of firsts during my week in the field visiting HSPFI‘s Camiguin Branch. Some good, some intense, all of it exciting. Amongst all these firsts, I’m convinced that I witnessed on Camiguin Island both the most beautiful and the most bizarre client interviews that I’ll get to conduct while here in the Philippines. This post is about the former – check out the latter at “The Most Bizarre Client Interview (Part 2 of 2)“!

A bit of background on Camiguin – I had been excited about this...

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Oct 8, 2009 PH Philippines

By Eva Wu, KF9 Philippines

Two days ago I learned that bayanihan means a community coming together as one, with lots of love and support – this is the way of Filipino culture. I feel like this is a perfect word to describe everything that I’ve experienced since becoming a Kiva Fellow. With all the news about how recent typhoons have ravaged the Philippines, I’ve received an outpouring of emails inquiring about how the situation here. I’m happy to report that Cagayan de Oro City, located in the southern region of Mindanao in the Philippines,...

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