Stephanie Sibal

Fellows Blog Posts by Stephanie Sibal

Apr 8, 2011 KH Cambodia

By Stephanie Sibal, KF14, Cambodia

It oftentimes begins with the aspiration of achieving something bigger: many enterprising Kiva borrowers request loans to start new ventures or expand businesses. Some rely on a Kiva loan to remedy a setback.

However, not all borrowers take out loans with the intention of starting or growing a business. Coming from places where running water, electricity, and sometimes even a roof for their house are considered luxuries, countless borrowers request loans to improve the quality of their lives.

Three months...

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Mar 15, 2011 KH Cambodia

By Stephanie Sibal, KF14, Cambodia

Gritty streets, massive white buildings, heavily-guarded gates. These are a part the outside view, the experience of someone blindly walking by a garment factory in Cambodia. About 20 kilometers out of Phnom Penh are Ta Khmao and Kandal Sleung, regions well-known for the numerous garment and apparel production factories there.

Of course, there is more to garment production than the fashionable pieces that exit the factory for commercial sale; there is the story of the garment factory worker who works tirelessly to produce them....

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Feb 27, 2011 KH Cambodia

By Stephanie Sibal, KF14, Cambodia

In the last few weeks, while hopped up on caffeine from too many cups of instant coffee, when I was approached and asked to create a marketing plan for MAXIMA, the microfinance institution (MFI) hosting my Kiva Fellowship in Cambodia, I overeagerly agreed.

Prior to my fellowship, I spent some time working in public relations, so the task of creating a marketing plan wasn’t completely new to me. In order to get started, I needed to figure out how MAXIMA markets to its borrowers in the first place. I knew the first place to start was...

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Feb 9, 2011 KH Cambodia

By Stephanie Sibal, KF14, Cambodia

My first couple of weeks serving as a Kiva Fellow in Cambodia were in many ways, a true shock to my system. The country’s capital, Phnom Penh, is a dizzy blur of lights, motorbikes, colonial-inspired architecture, and savory street food aromas that take some getting used to. However, nothing snaps a Kiva Fellow out of homesickness faster than a visit (or two) to the field. While working with CREDIT, one of Kiva’s oldest partners in Cambodia, I had the pleasure of leaving the busy city life two visit two borrowers in rural provinces.

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