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Inlägg för Otgontuul (5e december 2012)

Dear lender,

Thank you so much for you generous support of Mongolian borrowers through XacBank (pronounced Hahs Bank). They are the leading microfinance institution in Mongolia and known around the world for their innovative loan products.

XacBank is an intermediary between you (the lender) and the borrower, to screen and monitor loans disbursed and to ensure borrowers are receiving the support they need. My job as a Kiva Fellow, is to strengthen the relationship between Kiva and XacBank and to implement new projects run by both organizations.

Due to the suffocating pollution in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city in Mongolia, XacBank has been a leading advocate to reverse the trend of it becoming the most polluted city on earth (in 2011, Ulaanbaatar was ranked the 2nd most polluted city on earth , according to the World Health Organization.)

Read more on XacBank's website to see how they are offering loans and partnering with other NGOs (ADRA) and other organizations to subsidize energy efficient solutions to this massive problem.

There is no shortage of green loans that XacBank provides! You will be seeing an increasing number of these loans on the Kiva website with possible loan uses ranging from solar panels and natural gas car retrofits to greenhouses and machinery for organic fruit and vegetable production. I was able to visit Tsetsegmaa, who has a dairy business providing organic products to her customers, including a local high school. Organic dairy businesses like these are an integral part of Mongolian culture as they are traditionally a nomadic herding people, and dairy products make up a large part of their diet. Kiva and XacBank are committed to slowing the environmental impact of this country's economic development, especially as their economy is expected to grow by almost 15% in 2012!

XacBank will soon be posting Start-up Loans to the Kiva site. These are especially exciting for me as it means that these loans were not available to clients previously because of certain requirements (their credit score, past experience, collateral, etc.), but will now be offered, and even at a lower interest rate. This will enable more riskier and impoverished clients to access much needed credit. The catch: these borrowers must accomplish specific training for how to run a business and have a clear business plan. Coming soon to the Kiva site!

As I met with more and more borrowers across this vast country, I realized that their lives are changing at an ever-increasing rate. After the fall of the Soviet Union, around 1990, the population has all of a sudden had to change their thinking regarding the economy. Although the literacy rate is high, the general financial literacy rate has room for improvement. XacBank is well positioned to help borrowers comfortably deal with this changing economic landscape. My favourite aspect of XacBank's non-loan offerings is that they give Kiva clients 9% of the interest back in the form of a savings account when all payments have been made on time. Many of these customers have never had a savings account before.

On behalf of all the borrowers and staff at XacBank, I want to thank you so much for your generous support of micro-entrepreneurs in Mongolia. I would highly recommend visiting this country of extremes (keep in mind, when I arrived in early February, it was -40C) not only to experience the harsh beauty of the landscape, but also the overwhelming hospitality of the people. For more information on XacBank, please visit their Partner Profile page. Also, you can continue to help Mongolian micro-entrepreneurs even more by joining the XacBank Kiva Lending Team!


Jon Hiebert, Kiva Fellow
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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Inlägg för Arevhat (13e oktober 2012)

The letter and story below was written for you by the CEO of SEF International, one of Kiva's Field Partners in Armenia. The organization truly appreciates your support and hopes you will continue lending to Armenian borrowers on Kiva.

Dear Lender,

Thank you for your trust and support. Your loans have played a significant role in the lives of borrowers and their families, and have made a positive change in their lives.

I want to tell you a story about one Kiva lender's visit to his borrowers. It was a great experience for the borrowers, the lender and the SEF team. The lender witnessed the impact his investment had made, the borrowers felt the direct support of the Kiva community, and we at SEF were proud to be a part of their connection.

I want to share this eye-opening experience with you and invite you to Armenia to visit your borrowers. We here at SEF stand ready to take care of the logistics for you and help you enjoy your visit.

Thank you again for your support. You help improve lives.


Garegin Gavorgyan
CEO, SEF International


Meet Sebastia from Sydney Australia. He joined Kiva in 2011, and has since become one of the site's most active lenders. He's made 329 loans, 190 of which went to SEF borrowers (as of this month).

In August 2012, Sebastia came to Armenia for the first time. He is ethnic Armenian and was excited to see the land of his ancestors, to meet people, and to get acquainted with their lives. Sebastia came to see how the Kiva platform works in the field and how loans have affected the lives of borrowers.

Sebastia and Anahit from SEF visited two Kiva borrowers. The first borrower, Ruben, had applied for a loan to purchase carrot seeds and fertilizer for his grape orchard. Ruben grows a large variety of grape types and gladly offered to have Sebastia and Anahit taste all of them as he talked about their different attributes, tastes and cultivation practices.

Ruben shared that he would not have had as large a harvest without organic fertilizer, especially since several diseases have become much more common in the region, decreasing the land's productivity. The fertilizer has also ensured the high quality of his grapes. After the harvest, Ruben sells his grapes to a local winery.

Ruben has also started to cultivate carrots in late autumn, which is not the most favorable time for this plant. Last year's carrot harvest was not as good as the grape harvest, but Ruben hasn't lost hope and is determined to grow carrots again this year.

Sebastia and Anahit also visited Kiva borrower Susanna, who is also in agriculture.She applied for a loan to purchase two calves, stakes for her grape orchard, plant medicine and organic fertilizer. Susanna was very excited about the calves she has purchased. They'll give her the opportunity to breed cattle and produce more milk.

Susanna grows different vegetables in her orchard: peppers, eggplants, and tomatos. The seeds and organic fertilizer she purchased have played an important role in maintaining a healthy harvest.

While it was a little early for harvesting tomatos during the visit, Susanna found a few red ones so Sebastia and Anahit could have a taste.

Sebastia was thrilled to see, touch and taste the tangible results of the loans he made. It was very important for him to talk to the borrowers, learn about the challenges they face, and see how he has helped them. He said he was very excited to support so many Armenian entrepreneurs, and continue collaborating with SEF by making more loans.

We here at SEF value these experiences and welcome you to visit your borrowers, share your stories and support us in making sure that the poor in Armenia have access to the financial services they need.

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Inlägg för Alba Nelis (17e juli 2012)

We wanted to let you know that Alba Nelis has another loan posted on Kiva! Here's the description of their new loan:

Alba is asking for a nre loan because she needs to invest in her business. She will be buying the materials she needs to make french fries and pupusas. For example, she will buy corn, potatoes, oil, condiments, cheese and more materials needed to keep up production at her business.

She states that the previous loan helped her fortify her business. She bought materials for the bread bakery. This has resulted in an increase in profitability in her businesses, since she has gained more customers. There have been some problems in her family, since her daughter fell ill and this has resulted in medical expenses.

You can see Alba Nelis 's new loan by visiting http://www.kiva.org/lend/448619?_te=rlnol.

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Inlägg för Mukaramakhon (28e juni 2012)

Mukaramakhon has successfully repaid her loan. Her family's condition are better than ever.Mukarram's family always supports her particular lately.Her business by selling fabrics goes good. After she has got a loan of 5,000 somoni she purchased a new fashionable fabrics, which her needs.She is very glad that her working capital is increasing. She thanks all who has helped to expand her business.

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Inlägg för Edferina's Group (27e juni 2012)

Dear KIVA Lenders!
Greetings from Pakistan!
Edferina's tuition center is going on very nicely. She can now provide better education facilities to her students which has helped her getting more students for her academy.
This has also increased her profits and she is very happy about it.
She is paying her monthly installments regularly on time and offers her warmest regards to KIVA and Asasah for their generous loan support.
On behalf of Asasah (microfinance institute in Pakistan and a partner of Kiva), thank you for your continued generosity! Your support is important to us and we are very grateful.

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Inlägg för Albertha (5e juni 2012)

Dear Kiva Liberia Lenders,

Thank you so much for your support of the Kiva program in West Africa. I am currently serving as a Kiva Fellow in class 17 and have been working in Liberia with BRAC, our MFI partner, for the past 4 months. The depth of poverty in Liberia is overwhelming. The lack of infrastructure, job opportunities, health care facilities, clean water sources, and education impacts every Liberian citizen. To see the first hand impacts of the destructive capacities of war, taking one of West Africa's model countries for development and decimating the country's infrastructure to now rank as one of the world's poorest, was sad to say the least. But for sure, the human hand that can destroy a country also has the capacity to build it back up. The number of humanitarian missions working along with the UN's largest deployment in history is a strong reminder of the good we can do as a global community. As Liberia makes its transition from a country in need of emergency aid to a developing nation, the needs of its citizens are shifting.

It is an exciting time to see the power of micro-finance in action in Liberia; with an 85% unemployment rate, it is a very empowering activity to provide Liberians with the financial capital to boot-strap themselves out of a devastating circle of poverty through productive entrepreneurial activities. Although micro-credit is not a panacea, it provides motivated entrepreneurs the opportunity to create businesses which have tremendous positive impacts on their communities. It has been shown time and time again that the impacts of small-business can have a strong multiplier effect to the larger community as well. Through my fellowship I had the opportunity to travel across the country talking with people about how micro-credit impacted their lives. When asked about how they spend their income from their business the most common responses I heard were: to provide shelter, send children to school, and put food on the table. It was moving to hear how interconnected our stories are, because when you ask the same question in your community at home you are likely to hear relatively similar stories with the same core values. When I asked how we could improve the services of micro-credit, our clients resounded that they wanted bigger loans—a good sign that the loans were serving a real need and the terms were beneficial enough for the client to want to participate in the loan program again.

One of my biggest work objectives in Liberia was to conduct an audit to graduate our local partner from a pilot program to an active partner. I am happy to report that BRAC Liberia will be graduating with flying colors and in addition, they will be able to receive more funding through Kiva which will help them increase the number and size of loans to their clients. In addition to this deliverable, we have worked hard to institute scalable operating procedures, design new reporting systems, trained more than 40 staff members improved the overall efficiency of the micro-lending program, and distributed close to $100,000 USD in new loans.

Thank you all so much for your support of Kiva. If you are interested you can my writings on the kiva fellows blog and to learn more about the Kiva Fellow's program, our adventures, and my insights into Liberia. And lastly, please help share the power of micro-finance and continue to support Kiva. Telling your friends and family about micro-credit, giving a Kiva gift card, or funding a loan are all great ways to help the power of the micro-credit movement expand to help more people in need. I am so thankful that Kiva has connected borrowers and lenders who all believe that small actions can have big impacts. Thank you again for all of your support!

Best Regards,

Ryan Cummings
Kiva Fellows Class 17

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Inlägg för Tsogzolmaa (17e maj 2012)

Tsogzolmaa is grateful with Kiva and their lenders' help to her business. With loan funding of 2,500,000 MNT, she bought food supplies and has maintained her cafe to serve customers in convenient environment. The business income has been increased through the renovation and furnishing as well as the number of customers is increased. Due to improved business revenue, her spouse has now been engaged in commodity trade, student's tuition fee was paid and renovated their house.

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Inlägg för Souknah (15e februari 2012)

Dear Lenders,
Kiva Partner Ameen s.a.l. has been funding loans on Kiva.org for over 3 years. Ameen s.a.l.'s Kiva loan program has grown significantly in size and scope during that time, helping borrowers access convenient loans to grow their businesses, fund higher education, and meet family needs.
Due to a very productive pre-holiday period, Ameen s.a.l. finished the 2011 holiday season with a great many loans on kiva.org. Now, some of these loans are facing expiration. For this reason, we are getting in touch to encourage Ameen s.a.l.'s previous lenders to support Ameen s.a.l.'s currently-fundraising Kiva loans (http://www.kiva.org/lend?partner_id=115&status=fundRaising&sortBy=Most+Recent). We would like to sincerely thank you for your support of Ameen s.a.l. borrowers in the past, and for any support you can offer now and in the future.
Best regards,
Ameen s.a.l. and Kiva

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Inlägg för Souknah (10e januari 2012)

Dear Kiva lenders,

To celebrate the New Year, Ameen s.a.l. and Kiva would like to share one Ameen s.a.l. borrowers' success story with you. Ameen s.a.l. is very proud of the support that their Kiva loan product provides for Lebanese small- and micro-entrepreneurs. Ameen's Kiva loan is disbursed quickly (often in 1-2 days) and is smaller than many of their other loan products, with initial loan amounts between $ 300 and $ 1,200. This makes the Kiva loan particularly well-adapted to small business owners, who cope with unstable commodity prices, evolving client needs, and sudden, short-term business opportunities. Samir's story exemplifies the hard work and ingenuity of Ameen s.a.l.'s clients.

Samir is a Lebanese married man living with his wife and two kids in Borj Hammoud, a crowded area in the Matn region. He sells spare car parts since 1990, and has been working in the field for more than 20 years. Back in the early nineties, Samir had a BMW car and wanted to sell it, but the selling price was unsatisfying to him. After conducting a market research, he found out that disassembling the car and selling its spare parts would give him a better return, and so he did exactly that.

This was his first step in the business of selling spare parts. As years passed, he further expanded his business, opening his own shop and establishing a good reputation in the field. But with successes come setbacks. As new technologies invaded the market, traditional car mechanics found they were unable to adapt with the emerging market needs and many had to close up shop. This negatively affected Samir's business, since his main clients are mechanics.

In order to face these challenges, support his business and ensure the sustainability of his income, Samir needed to diversify his business offerings. However, to do that, he required capital. During a door-to-door promotion by an Ameen s.a.l. loan officer in the area, Samir was introduced to the Kiva loan product in 2010, to which he applied with the aim of fulfilling his need to diversify his business' offerings.

With the $ 1,200 loan Samir received, he purchased engine oils from bulk retailers at discounted prices and proceeded to benefit from their resale value, making a return on investment of $ 2,000. Thanks to the loan, he was able to diversify his inventory and consequently reboot his business with the profit earned. Nowadays, Samir is studying the possibility of opening yet a second shop and is optimistic about the future once again.

So from Ameen s.a.l. and Kiva, Happy New Year!

Kiva and Ameen s.a.l.

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Inlägg för Jenishbubu (5e oktober 2011)

Jenishbubu and her family are very grateful and thankful to KIVA for the loan program. Jenishbubu used her loan for broadening her business by purchasing additional cattle. She collects her incomes to purchase a truck for products transportation.

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Inlägg för Laetitie Dusingizimana (20e april 2011)

Laetitie used the loan to expand her business. With the profit, she was able to pay school fees for her children. She thanks all the Kiva lenders who have helped her.

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Inlägg för Akuha Nomuha Group, Ibanda (28e februari 2011)

Madina Nabaada operates a spare parts sales business. With this kiva loan, she says she purchased more spare parts to resell at her shop.

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Inlägg för Ignacia (23e februari 2011)

This journal has been sent to all Kiva lenders who have made loans to clients of Esperanza International in the past. It's intended to give you a little more information about Esperanza International, their clients and the Dominican Republic and Haiti than you may already have read on Kiva.

I'm writing this journal from Colombia, the destination of my second Kiva Fellowship, but my time with Esperanza International in Haiti and the Dominican Republic is still very fresh in my mind, and will be for some time to come.

I could not have wished for a more welcoming host than Esperanza International. They were exceptionally friendly and made my time in Haiti and the Dominican Republic a very fun one. They are very pleased to be a Kiva Field Partner, and see Kiva's value in terms of facilitating access to capital and easing cash flow, hence allowing them to lend to more borrowers. They also really appreciate Kiva's ability to connect lenders around the world to their clients to give people an idea of what they do.

Esperanza International was founded in 1995 by ex-pro baseball player David Valle. It has grown at an impressive rate, fielding 9 offices around the Dominican Republic and 2 in Haiti. As well as offering microfinance services, Esperanza International delivers 'complimentary services' which include savings and insurance, health and dental care and recreational activities. This, to me, is essential. Having worked as a Kiva Fellow for about 4 months now and having visited hundreds of borrowers in the field, I'm of the opinion that microloans alone are not enough. Wraparound services are fundamental. Speaking of which, one of Esperanza International's main goals going forward is to improve their business training and education offering.

The vast majority of Esperanza International's loans are group loans, i.e. to a Solidarity Bank. Banks can range in size from 10 to 40 people and are divided into individual 'Groups' of around 5 people to make loan repayment less confusing. If you would like to know more about group loans, have a read of my first Kiva blog which goes into this in more detail.

Currently working in Medellín, Colombia, where the infrastructure is developed and distributing loans easy, I have seen the relative advantages of offering larger, individual loans. However, such is the state of the infrastructure in the areas where Esperanza International works (especially in Haiti) that lending to groups is without doubt the preferable (if not the only realistic) means of distributing thousands of loans efficiently.

Esperanza International is a Christian organization and its core values are driven by its faith. However, it should be noted that Esperanza International distributes loans to people irrespective of faith and creed.

If you would like to know more about Esperanza International then head to their website or watch this video that I put together for their partner page on Kiva.

Life in Haiti and the DR was very interesting. Haiti, in particular, fascinated me. I find it astonishing that a country can be 7 times poorer (in terms of GDP per capita) than a country with which it shares a border. I simply had to cross the border to notice a remarkable difference between the two. Haiti is particularly basic and lacks electricity, running water, a gas line or even any sort of noticeable police force (on the whole it's the UN who enforce the law). However, I was blown away by the Haitian people. They are exceptionally friendly and approach life with a great joie de vivre, especially when you consider the conditions under which they live. I also fell in love with Haitian food, which is utterly delicious if you're okay with a bit of spice. If you would like to read more about my time in Haiti, please have a read of this blog post.

One thing I noted in the DR was a considerable lack of consistent available work. The tourism industry has taken a battering since the recession and in San Pedro de Macorís, the town where I was principally based, many people suffered from the recent closure of many of the region's major factories. Considerable rising energy prices have not helped the Dominicans' situation. A great time to be investing in microfinance, you might argue.

I met some wonderful borrowers on my trips to the field. I would say that the success of microfinance (and the Grameen group model) is variable, but the majority of people I spoke with told me that the loans had helped in one form or another.

Borrowers mentioned a number of benefits consistently. One, for example, was simply that they could access cash easily and at a reasonable interest rate. Usury had left many borrowers in a mess and Esperanza International had provided them with a lifeline. Secondly, female borrowers (the vast majority of EI's borrowers are women) gushed that loans gave them the chance to run a business out of their home - where they need to be to look after their children - whereas previously the man of the house was the family's only source of income. Finally, I found that microloans gave people a choice. Borrowers were able change professions from something that didn't suit them previously. Even if profits don't increase dramatically, when people tell me how much happier they are because they are now earning a living doing something they enjoy, that for me is one of the major benefits of microfinance.

On the whole, the borrowers I met were a joy to be around and welcomed me with open arms. They made me feel right at home, always offering me the best seat at repayment meetings and asking numerous questions about life in England. Many asked if I could take them back to England, but unfortunately I had to politely decline! I found that Dominican borrowers in particular were extremely chatty. This meant that repayment meetings would often take a very long time, but I never minded that too much! Above all, when I talked about Kiva they were always quick to show their gratitude. Although it wasn't me who had provided their loan, it was always nice to receive a chorus of 20 simultaneous 'thank you's.

I met some real microfinance success stories and, as a Kiva lender, there are few greater feelings. I've written a blog about one of these which can be found here but the one I found most inspirational also happened to be working alongside me every day. Célida, the branch manager of Esperanza International's San Pedro de Macorís office, actually started out as one of Esperanza's clients. Her business grew substantially and then she joined Esperanza International as a loan officer, later progressing to branch manager. One day Esperanza's board came to visit the San Pedro office and Célida told them her story. One member of the board asked what she wants for the future. She looked at the CEO, who was sat next to her, and said, "I want to be in his position." I thought that was great!

One thing I've learned out here is that it doesn't take a lot to make a difference. After all, not all borrowers will be as 'successful' as Célida. When one borrower took me back to her house to show me her business, the only thing she really wanted to talk about was the new radio she'd purchased with her profits. She spent about 5 minutes flicking through the different stations, looking at me with a beaming smile. It may only be a radio, but it's made a world of difference.

Thanks so much for lending to Esperanza International's clients.

Nick Hamilton, KF13 Dominican Republic and Haiti

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Inlägg för Tsogzolmaa (16e februari 2011)

Thank you for your ongoing support of Kiva and its entrepreneurs at XacBank, a field partner in Mongolia. Just recently, XacBank marked the two year anniversary of its partnership with Kiva. Over this time, you and other lenders have assisted over 2,950 entrepreneurs with $3,400,000 USD in loans. As a Kiva Fellow, I've been working at XacBank over the past six months and want to share a few of their interesting programs – the creation of green loans, the spread of mobile banking, and the promotion of organic products.

Did you know that Ulaanbaatar is ranked the world's 5th worst city for air pollution? The World Bank estimates that 60% of the air pollution comes from household heating systems and the fuel used to keep families warm in the winter. XacBank has partnered with Micro Energy Credits to develop green loans for items such as fuel efficient stoves, solar panels, warm housing covers, and energy efficient fuels.

Oyunchimeg, one of XacBank's eco loan clients, began sewing sheets from her ger, a traditional Mongolian felt tent, in 2009. Running her small business from her home means that she must simultaneously keep a fire going in order to stay warm. At the beginning of winter, Oyunchimeg took a microloan from XacBank in order to buy more environmentally-friendly fuel in bulk. Oyunchimeg said that the new fuel helped her save money on fuel costs in the long run and also helped her run her business from home.

As well as in the environmental sector, XacBank has been innovative in the mobile banking area. XacBank created a mobile banking service named AMAR, which is available in some of the most remote areas of Mongolia. Clients no longer have to travel to one of XacBank's physical branches; Clients can use a combination of cell phones and over 3,000 cash-handling agents, such as remote grocery stores and trusted individuals, to make a variety of transactions such as depositing, withdrawing, and transferring money.

Click here to watch a short video of XacBank's AMAR mobile banking service.

Altantsetseg is both a Kiva entrepreneur and AMAR mobile banking user. She operates a small business selling meat in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Altantsetseg says that she's a very busy woman running her small business, and normally doesn't have too much time to go to the bank office. Since becoming a user of the AMAR mobile banking service, Altantsetseg says it has really saved her time and made her business more efficient. She can take payments and send payments to and from her partners through AMAR.

XacBank has partnered with many organizations such as the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce, large energy businesses and national media organizations to promote a project named Organic Mongolia. This project promotes organic goods grown and produced locally in Mongolia. It supports micro-businesses by providing low interest rate loans with no collateral requirements.

In addition to the loans, the project has many activities such as mass media advertising for the organic goods, training for entrepreneurs by professionals, certification of organic goods, and large scale trade fairs. So far, Organic Mongolia has assisted a wide variety of businesses like bee farms, greenhouses, soy bean production, and animal nutrition products. Click here to watch a video of some of Organic Mongolia's activities.

Recently, all of the Organic Mongolia partners volunteered one day to assist a local greenhouse in bringing in their harvest. The XacBank team cleared the greenhouse of cucumber vines and roots, and then planted a batch of lettuce. While the team members worked in the greenhouse, the media sponsors produced a small segment to promote organic farming and organic businesses to the Mongolian public.

The staff at XacBank are committed to reducing poverty in Mongolia through innovative activities like the ones I've shared with you. Thank you again for your continued support of Kiva entrepreneurs, and, in turn, the Kiva field partners that disburse the loans in Mongolia. Please feel free to join the XacBank lending team on Kiva.

Thank you,

Amber Barger, KF14 Mongolia

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Inlägg för Fatoumata Yéhia (14e februari 2011)

Comme prévu, j'ai acheté avec ce présent prêt 13 cartons de lait en poudre, 10 moquettes de différentes dimensions, 4 couvre-lits, 6 paires de cache-mur, 5 cartons de couscous arabe, etc. En ce moment tout marche comme attendu et le but a été réalisé, puisque l'objectif était d'augmenter mon fonds de commerce pour pouvoir faire face à la demande de ma clientèle en achetant plus de marchandises. Mon activité a bien changé car j'ai eu plus de clients qu'auparavant par la qualité de mes marchandises et la clientèle est très satisfaite. Grâce à ce prêt, j'ai pu réaliser d'autres rêves. Je suis très reconnaissante et satisfaite de l'institution de micro finance Soro Yiriwaso et de son partenaire Kiva.

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Inlägg för Rosejean Blando (1a december 2010)

Three months working with the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) in Manila, Philippines, has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to explore the organization's multi-faceted approach to poverty alleviation. From water stations and feeding programs to microfinance, CCT's comprehensive work is enacted by a dedicated, hardworking staff, whose commitment to improving the lives of thousands of Filipinos is estimable. Though often miles away, you, as a Kiva lender, help CCT realize its ambitious goals, and for that Salamat! (thank you!) from Kiva and everyone at CCT.

As I am sure you have observed perusing through borrower profiles on Kiva's website, many of CCT's borrowers utilize loans of varying sizes to supply and expand inventories for their general stores, or "sari-sari stores" as they are called locally. I have interviewed many of these sari-sari store owners and each one stressed the importance of Kiva/CCT loans, without which, they say, business expansion would be impossible. One borrower used her first CCT loan for inventory restocking, her second to help her start a Karaoke rental business, and the third to help her and her husband run a tricycle business (motorbike with a sidecar), and passionately thanked Kiva and the CCT staff for giving her the chance to succeed. Another borrower used a moderate sized loan to purchase a new sewing machine for her rag making business, which from all indications was flourishing. She proudly mentioned that she had spent the entire day looking for the perfect new sewing machine. Such success stories are inspiring and serve as a testament to the importance of access to financial services.

CCT recognizes that microfinance is not a panacea in economic development, but rather a tool that can be effective when the circumstances are right. Borrowers need to have a means of making a product and a customer base for loans to be productive. CCT thus positions microfinance within a pyramid of poverty alleviation tools and target groups. See image below. Rather than merely providing credit, CCT works to give "Kaibigans" or "streetdwellers" (kaibigan means "friend" in Tagalog) the vocational skills necessary to either begin their own micro-businesses or be gainfully employed by existing ones. During my first week at CCT I visited a new school being constructed by CCT in collaboration with two other development organizations. The school had been built entirely by Kaibigan's trained by CCT. CCT was thus not only providing education, but was also resume-building work experience. As if not impressed enough, three weeks later I was also given the wonderful opportunity to attend the opening of a new clean water station in Pasay City in Manila. It was to serve as an affordable supply of clean drinking water for the local community, and CCT had hired and trained a team of Kaibigans to serve as delivery men. Beyond this CCT offers schooling programs for children, healthcare, and a myriad of other services.

As you might expect, there is a strong sense of community at CCT, and it is vital to the organizations functionality. CCT's microfinance arm is structured as a credit cooperative and its members demonstrate a full commitment to the organization's mission. Members are small equity holders in the organization, receiving annual dividend payments. Microfinance loans are paid back privately each week at the end of a one hour Fellowship meeting. Each Fellowship group consists of roughly 10 members, and meetings consist of bible reading, singing, and discussion, making the social aspect of the service similar a group loan. What has become glaringly clear to me during my time here, is that members are proud to be a part of CCT, and Kiva should be proud to work closely with an organization that is not only respected by its borrowers, but also treats, and indeed positions them, as equals.

The staff at CCT are a dedicated group of individuals who commit themselves, each day starting at 7:30 and finishing at 6:00, to the organization's objective of helping those in need. It is easy to forget sometimes that partner organizations are a more tangible part of the Kiva loan experience for borrowers than Kiva itself. Spending nearly four months with one of them has shown me that the Kiva model works. Thank you again for your trust in Kiva, your continued support of our partners, and most importantly, for choosing to help thousands of micro-entrepreneurs pursue their ambitions.

Nick Whalley, KF12, Manila, Philippines

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Inlägg för Rosejean Blando (14e oktober 2010)

Dear Lenders,

The Php16,000 loan has already been disbursed to Rosejean Blando. She has utilized the loan for the repair needs of the tricycle and other legalities like licenses, registration and franchise fee.

If you would like to support CCT, join our new lending team:

For more information on CCT, please visit: http://www.kiva.org/about/aboutPartner?id=144

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In English, please?

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