Every day at 5pm Manila is blanketed with rain. I was nominally aware of this before I arrived, and spent a significant amount of time and a not insignificant amount of money equipping myself with waterproof Gortex jacket. To my dismay, I would have been better equipped with a golf umbrella and a pair of waders. In the Philippines, the start of a downpour does not indicate a cold front moving in, indeed the air is stays so warm the effect resembles a hot shower. It is far too hot for my Gortex jacket, and the flooded streets make my pair of sneakers comically impractical. Each day’s...Continue Reading >>
Fellows Blog Posts by nwhalley
As I noted in an earlier blog, the bulk of the Center for Community Transformation’s loans are made to small variety store owners for inventory restocking. This capital is necessary, and often allows owners to diversify their offerings, but it is clear there are few opportunities for much business growth. Competition is rampant, and demand local and limited.
It was inspiring then to meet a “round rag” maker in Manila who had developed partnerships with two companies interested in purchasing her rags. The companies needed thousands for use in their factories, and the borrower was...Continue Reading >>
The past couple weeks at CCT in Manila provided me with an opportunity to take a closer look at the multitude of poverty alleviation services the organization provides. CCT targets several poverty groups (see diagram below), and tailors programs to each accordingly. Micro-entrepreneurs, broadly categorized in the middle of the poverty pyramid, are the recipients of the small business loans posted on Kiva. “Sufficiency” is the primary objective for this program, a mission reflected in the reality of loan utilization I observed in interviews with borrowers (primarily working capital...Continue Reading >>
I have just completed my first two weeks at the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) in Manila, Philippines. For those of you who followed Prem Thomas’s blog, the following account of my first impressions of Manila and CCT will likely seem familiar, but I hope you still find them interesting.
A first Jeepney ride through the heavy traffic congestion on Taft Street, the main thoroughfare through Ermita and Malate, gave me a quick introduction to the urban economy of the Philippines. Despite the presence of familiar franchises (McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.) and some not so...Continue Reading >>