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Month: February 2010

What I Do: Borrower Interviews

What I Do: Borrower Interviews

As a Kiva Fellow, I go to the field to interview borrowers about the status of their loan and talk about the business, the family, and their dreams for the future.  Usually I do a short write-up to update the Kiva lenders, but sometimes I go overboard and write an essay.  This is not representative of most journal entries, but I found her to be such an interesting client that I wanted to share it.  I titled this journal update…

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Green Products and the Triple Bottom Line

Green Products and the Triple Bottom Line

The core philosophy of microfinance is the double bottom line.  It refers to the goals of the organization, which are a) to be profitable, and b) to be socially impactful.  But there is another philosophy known as the triple bottom line, which adds ecological impact.  Sometimes referred to as “people, planet, profit,” TBL promotes an environmentally-friendly approach to development.  To that end, there are a host of products that serve each of the three goals.  In this post, I will…

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Repost: Yunus v. Compartamos

Repost: Yunus v. Compartamos

In a shameless attempt to fill the gap left by me not having any material, I am reposting an old favorite.  Also, it is going up on the Kiva Fellows blog this morning, so it made sense to put it up here again. Within the international development community, a debate for the heart of the movement came to the fore two years ago with the IPO of Compartamos, the largest microfinance institution in Mexico.  Divisive and controversial, Compartamos’ decision to…

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Cooking Styles of the Philippines

Cooking Styles of the Philippines

When I first arrived in country, I stayed at a hostel in Manila called Friendly’s Guesthouse.  There I met a British ex-pat living in Malaysia that has been on the road for the past twenty years.  He was at the end of a three-month trip through the Philippines, and he really hated the food here.  When we talked about the typhoon, Ondoy, that hit Manila last fall, he said the streets were so flooded that the government had difficulty getting…

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Branch Rollout in Cebu

Branch Rollout in Cebu

This weekend I went to Cebu, an island east of Negros, for the Kiva rollout in the NWTF branches.  I traveled as part of a five-person team, including Massah, the photography consultant, Raymond, the research manager, Jubert, the IT manager, and Presy, the Kiva coordinator.  Pocholo, a friend of Raymond’s, needed a lift to Cebu and caught a ride with us.  The six of us loaded the infamous red van and left at 7 AM on Thursday morning.  The road…

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I’m Changing Photo Sites

I’m Changing Photo Sites

The suits over at Yahoo have informed me that I’ve reached my 200-photo limit on my Flickr account.   For unlimited storage space, the capitalists are asking for $24.95 per year.  In protest, I am moving all my pictures to Picasa, Google’s free photo uploader.  I will continue to upload new photos to Flickr, with the link displayed in the sidebar.  But for the full collection of photos, check the Picasa site, which also has a link on the sidebar.  Click…

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Another Trip

Another Trip

Capping off a marathon month of travel, I am spending the weekend in Cebu.  NWTF is rolling out Kiva in several of the Cebu branches and I am coming along to give a short presentation to the loan officers and branch manager on the history of Kiva, the mission, and how it works.  There will be five of us, including myself.  The Kiva coordinator, Presy, will discuss the process for getting the information for the borrower profile.  The MIS manager,…

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She Drives a Dodge Stratus: The Role of the Husband

She Drives a Dodge Stratus: The Role of the Husband

One of microfinance’s major achievements has been to empower women in societies that relegate women to a second-class status.  At Negros Women for Tomorrow, 98% of clients are women.  The rationale behind lending to women is that they are more reliable, family-oriented, and stationary.  Women are more likely to spend the money on things like education and health care.  One of the major themes of this blog is to highlight the interconnectedness of the impacts of microfinance.  Giving women a…

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