Posts tagged ‘Cambodia’

Update from the Field: Thoughts on Home (New and Old), Fun Experiences and First Days

Compiled by David Gorgani | KF17 + KF18 | Guatemala

As we begin to get a feel for our new placements and our new countries, we Fellows have also begun to ponder items ranging from local business realities to simply why we love what we do. The nine posts in this update give a great deal of insight into the work of a Fellow, local culture in the locations in which we are placed, and most importantly, where these elements come together to give a brief overview of what it means to be a newly-arrived Kiva Fellow.

Continue Reading 2 July 2012 at 09:00 4 comments

The Price of Poverty: What the Poor Sacrifice Just to Survive

Jen Truong | KF17 | Cambodia

Poverty is terrible. It is unfair and merciless—I am certain many can agree to that. Often times people are born into it, other times poverty hits them out of nowhere, but the worst is when it oh so gradually creeps up into the lives of people absolutely undeserving of such a life. As my fellow KFer, Adria, mentioned in an earlier post regarding poverty, there are “different ways to be poor,” and after living in Phnom Penh for almost three months now, I can say that I agree to that statement completely. It is so obvious here that people are not only in poverty due to lack of wealth, but literally because of the lack of opportunity, of knowledge, and of information. Since arriving in Cambodia, my heart has ached to understand more deeply some of the direct reasons why so many people fall into such ruthless cycles of poverty here.

I had initially planned to write about the catalysts of poverty in Cambodia, however in writing this post, I realized that I cannot even pretend like I understand enough about poverty to talk about its catalysts—I found that it is just too exhausting to try to analyze and interpret the information I have gathered in this young and naïve little mind of mine. But, in my quest to understand the catalysts, I can definitely say that I have gained some interesting insight on the sacrifices that people living in poverty are required to make in order to survive here in Cambodia…and that is something I would love to share with you all.

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25 April 2012 at 10:43 11 comments

Update from the Field: Colorful Markets, Microfinance for Students + Springtime Flowers and Celebrations

Compiled by Allison Moomey | KF16 & KF17 | Bénin

Springtime has arrived and fellows around the world are celebrating the resfreshing new life springing from the ground. From millions of tulips in Turkey to smelling family members and friends in Mongolia, fellows have been busy embracing the unique cultures of their host countries. Join Isabel as she explores Ecuador’s colorful markets, Natalie as she discovers an innovative mirofinance program run from a high school, and Kim as she celebrates the colorful fields of flowers in Turkey. Finally, see how the debut of spring is enjoyed around the world with Jon in Mongolia, Chris in the Ukraine, Jen in Cambodia, Natalie in Cameroon, and Kiyomi and Emmanuel in Mexico.

Continue Reading 23 April 2012 at 09:00 4 comments

Hello Spring: It’s Time to Celebrate

Compiled by Kiyomi Beach | KF17 | Mexico

Whether shaking off the chill of winter, welcoming the rainy season, or experiencing any other climate change, the spring can definitely be a time to celebrate. Some countries celebrate big which can mean local business owners have a surge in income from selling items related to the festivities. Sales for new clothes, fabrics for costumes, candies, and specialty foods increase, which give some Kiva borrowers an extra reason to celebrate.

While we may all be familiar with some holidays or festivals, each culture celebrates what may seam like a familiar holiday differently. Some countries have celebrations that are uniquely their own, with the common threads being are family and fun. Lets see how a few of the fellows celebrated.

Continue Reading 20 April 2012 at 09:00 4 comments

First Day as a Kiva Fellow in Cambodia

Jen Truong | KF17 | Cambodia

After experiencing my first day at work as a Kiva Fellow, I can tell you this much: One should always expect the unexpected! For me (and I feel incredibly fortunate for this), most of my unexpecteds so far have turned out to be only pleasant. Below, I have listed some details and thoughts of my first days being in Cambodia and at my MFI, MAXIMA, that I hope you will find at least entertaining.

The Expected:

1. Cambodia’s weather
Cambodia is humid! Granted, this is coming from someone who has lived in the Arizona desert pretty much her entire life, so I’m just being a bit more dramatic than I should be. Thankfully, my one-room apartment that I am renting from a family has air conditioning, which has helped the adjustment go much more smoothly. I am sweating less and less buckets as the days progress, and I’ve noticed that if I gradually wean myself off of the cool air, I will soon no longer need it at all! It doesn’t sound like something to be that proud of, but it’s funny how easily we take something like air conditioning for granted. Most people I’ve talked to don’t use or have air conditioning in their homes at all.

2. Homesickness
It would be a lie if I told you that I haven’t thought about being back home at all. I miss it. I miss conveniently knowing where everything is and who I’m going to see everyday. But, it is also for that reason that I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity to be in Cambodia. Each day I’ve seen something new–made new friend. I really can’t complain about that.

3. Street children
It is a known problem in Cambodia. Many people discourage giving money to these children as it only perpetuates the situation and puts them at even higher risk of getting into worse things in the future. Instead, I’ve been searching for local NGOs that aim to help protect street children and youth. I had dinner last night at Friends, the Restaurant (called Mith Samlanh in Cambodian). Friends is a training restaurant run by former street youth and their teachers. The food is delicious (a fusion of American and Cambodian cuisine) and the people are beyond hospitable here. (more…)

13 February 2012 at 18:44 18 comments

Happy Earth Day from Kiva Fellows around the Globe!

Compiled by Caree Edson, KF 14, Armenia

One of the unfortunate sight-seeing adventures that you never sign up for when you travel (especially in developing countries) is the unseemly amount of trash cluttering the otherwise beautiful landscapes. In Armenia, it isn’t possible to see the horizon through the smog most days and the streets are covered in cigarette butts and litter. I found no exceptions to this as I inquired from other Kiva Fellows about the dire situation in their countries. Environmental education and reform are simply not a top priority in many countries. But the future of climate change initiatives are not entirely hopeless…

Continue Reading 22 April 2011 at 11:06 3 comments

The Bare Necessities

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 and nearly a dozen trips into rural Cambodian provinces of Kampong Chhnang, Takeo, and Kandal have provided me with opportunities to chat intimately with borrowers who are grateful to lenders for allowing them what the developed world calls “the bare necessities.”

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8 April 2011 at 01:45 6 comments

Piece by Piece: The Garment Worker’s Loan

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.

Is it possible to support a family on factory wages?

 

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15 March 2011 at 18:22 3 comments

Kiva Fellows by the Numbers

By David McNeill (Sierra Leone) and Adam Cohn (Rwanda), with lots of help from the 14th class of Kiva Fellows

It turns out that one thing Kiva Fellows seem to have in common is a love for data. With that, Kiva Fellows David and Adam polled the current fellows in the field on the costs of various necessities and niceties in their current placements. The numbers, which we humbly title the Kiva Fellows Index, give some good insight into the conditions in the far-flung places we now live and work.

Far from home

Kiva Fellows are in it for the long haul. On average, we’re 5,745 miles away from home, as the crow flies. The fellows who have trucked the farthest, at least by line of sight, are: Adam Cohn, who crossed 8,892 miles from Seattle, WA to Kigali, Rwanda; Caitlin Ross, who also went to Kigali from her home in Burlingame, CA, for a total of 9,417 miles; and the longest haul goes to Lisa Skowron, who flew 9,519 miles from her home in Chicago, IL to Kupang, Indonesia!

Internet
The first prize for the slowest Internet speed goes to Carlos Cruz in Liberia, with a close second and third for Claudine Emeott in Nepal and David McNeill in Sierra Leone. They experience speeds 10-100 times slower than in the US, making them thankful to the Kiva engineers who make Kiva.org one of the quicker websites to load. At these speeds video chatting is impossible, voice is dodgy if possible at all, and emails aren’t even guaranteed to work. Forget about watching videos on YouTube or listening to Internet radio. Having Internet access is quickly becoming almost as important as having electricity or indoor plumbing.

Weather
Many of us are serving in hot parts of the world without the blessing of air conditioning. The unlucky winners in this category are neighbors in West Africa – Carlos Cruz in Liberia and David McNeill in Sierra Leone. They survive high temperatures in the low 90’s (F) and lows that only get down to the upper 70’s or low 80’s (F). Carlos, we hope you’ve got a fan and electricity to run it like David does (most of the time).

On the other side of the spectrum, Amber Barger is struggling to keep warm in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia where it dips down to -9 (F) at night. David would be happy to trade one of his hot sunny beaches for some of Amber’s ice!

Amber trying to stay warm on her unheated camel ride in Mongolia

Housing
Carlos Cruz got the sweetest deal on rent, with free housing courtesy of his host microfinance institution in Liberia. The runner up is Gustavo Visalli in Totonicapan, Guatemala. He pays only $100/month, and that includes electricity, a flush toilet, and all the black beans and eggs he can eat!

Gustavo cooking up his all-you-can eat buffet in his sweet house in Guatemala

Transportation
There are some definite advantages to working in developing countries. Most of us spend less than $1 getting to work each day riding buses, motorcycles, or other modes of public transportation. For David in Sierra Leone, a ride in the back of a car taxi to a town 2.5 hours away only costs $3.50 (there are four people squished in a seat made for three, though). Stephanie Sibal has the sweetest deal on transportation – her host organization in Phnom Penh, Cambodia provides her a car and driver to bring her in to work in the morning.

With the cost of oil on the rise, we did a quick poll of gas prices where we are serving. The highest price is in South Africa at $5/gallon. If you want the cheapest price, you’ll have to drive to Indonesia ($2.15/gallon) or Kyrgyzstan ($2.73/gallon).

Refreshment
For refreshment, Stephanie Sibal is a definite winner – she only has to pay 15 cents for a Coke served in a plastic baggie! The following people have a four-way tie for the cheapest beer at only $1 a bottle: Stephanie Sibal again (Phnom Penh, Cambodia), John Gwillim (Barranquilla, Colombia), Geeta Uhl (Ayacucho, Peru), and John Farmer (Mexico City, Mexico). For coffee, some people like John Farmer have the luxury of a nearby Starbucks in Mexico City, Adam Cohn can drink 100% local coffee at multiple Bourbon locations in Rwanda, while poor Noreen Giga is still searching for a good cup in Lima, Peru.

Stephanie enjoying her Bag-o-Coke in Cambodia

As you can see, some of life’s necessities are more accessible, while others are prohibitive, for those who relocate to the other side of the globe. If you’d like to look at our full spreadsheet of stats, you can see it here.
Have you found places where a Coke is incredibly expensive, or internet is mind-blowingly slow? Let us know in the comments!

14 March 2011 at 04:00 8 comments

Update from the Field: Videos, Epic Commutes + Going Beyond Microfinance

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Another week, another incredible range of dispatches from around the world. Several Fellows told their stories with video and pictures while others took time to reflect on the state of microfinance as a global industry and in their respective countries. And what would a week in the field be without getting to know a few borrowers? Plus, scroll to the end of the post for pictures you may have missed the first time around.

Continue Reading 28 February 2011 at 00:38 10 comments

Microfinance Marketing 101: The Loan Officer

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 the ever-important loan officer.

“Today, we’re advertising.”
Loan officers have an unbelievably difficult and labor-intensive job. They have a long list of responsibilities: traveling long distances to meet with new or existing clients, disbursing a microloan, and collecting repayments. (Previous Kiva Fellows have written about the jobs of loan officers, in Vietnam and Ecuador)

Last week, I asked to tag along to with Vanna, one of MAXIMA’s loan officers, and found out exactly how crucial loan officers like him are to MAXIMA’s marketing program.

In short, he and other loan officers like him ARE the marketing program.

Vanna the loan officer, visiting a borrower and her grandchildren

 

(more…)

27 February 2011 at 19:13 5 comments

Mangoes and Motos: Visits to the field in 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.

(more…)

9 February 2011 at 21:56 7 comments

My 3 Favorite Pictures from Cambodia

Big smile from a Kiva borrower

Cambodians have some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. During my visits to Kiva borrowers in August and September of 2010, I was given a glimpse of life in rural Cambodia. Below I present some of the challenges of taking photos in the field and also some of my favorite photographs from the borrower visits. (more…)

5 January 2011 at 17:00 6 comments

Silk weaving in Cambodia: An age-old tradition struggles to survive

by Lina Goldberg, KF12, MAXIMA Mikroheranhvatho, Cambodia

Cambodia has a long and rich history in silk production and weaving dating back more than a thousand years. Women across southern Cambodia have looms in their homes, and they practice the art passed down from their mothers and grandmothers. But now the ancient craft is slowly dying as the cost of imported raw silk continues to climb while the price of finished silk textiles drops.

Continue Reading 26 December 2010 at 10:05 47 comments

The Road to Kiva Borrowers

As a Kiva Fellow in Cambodia for the past three months, I have had the opportunity to travel through Cambodia, experiencing the crowds and the charms of the urban areas and the beauty and calmness of the rural villages. Here are some of my favorite pictures of the different roads taken to get to Kiva borrowers.

A moto driver carrying bananas in Phnom Penh (more…)

6 November 2010 at 08:00 1 comment

Urban Poor: A Peek into a Microcosm of Cambodia

By Shirley Fong, KF12, Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea, Cambodia

It’s one of those places you won’t find unless you go looking for it – the slums of Chak Angre Leo. Located in the outer khan (district) of Meanchey in Cambodia’s capital city, the slums are a stark contrast from the familiar communities and gated residences in central Phnom Penh.

Continue Reading 19 September 2010 at 00:01 8 comments

Superhuman: The Profile of a Credit Officer

By Shirley Fong, KF12, Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea, Cambodia

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… no, it’s an AMK credit officer!

Much like a superhero, credit officers are the understated motor that keeps the loan system running. Their continued daily gruel brings loaned monies to those who need it. After a day in the field, I am worn down to the fibers of my soul from the long hours of heat exhaustion, heavy rain (during Cambodia’s monsoon season), and navigating a loud, clunky motorcycle on unpaved roads mapless. But I realize I have no reason to complain – credit officers do this every day!

Continue Reading 29 August 2010 at 21:01 7 comments

Have you eaten rice? Saying hello in Cambodia

By Lina Goldberg, KF12, MAXIMA Mikroheranhvatho, Co., Ltd., Cambodia

Like the stereotypical Italian and Jewish mothers seen in so many comedy routines, my colleagues are unduly interested in how much, and what, I eat. “You are so big,” one of the credit officers said to me, confused, “but you don’t eat much rice.” And it’s true. I tower over most of the men in Cambodia where the people have slight, delicate frames. And despite their backbreaking work in the rice paddies, I am the one with the farmer’s broad shoulders and big feet…

Continue Reading 16 August 2010 at 07:30 11 comments

Basking in (Morning) Glory

By Shirley Fong, KF12, Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea, Cambodia

I’ve made it through my first week here in Cambodia, and so far it has been amazing! I still get the occasional, “Why are you doing this?” question from curious friends and family back at home, and my answer to them is “Why not?”

Continue Reading 15 August 2010 at 08:00 5 comments

The Greatest Generation: Cambodia’s Inspirational Young Professionals

Lend to a borrower in Cambodia and you’re making a sound investment. Aside from exhibiting extremely low loan default rates, Cambodian Kiva borrowers are clients of well-established and well-run microfinance organizations. They live in a country that enjoyed double-digit economic growth for much of the past decade, doubling per-capita income in the process. While praising the benefits of this growth in alleviating poverty and improving quality of life here, in 2009 the World Bank cautioned that this growth is “unlikely to be sustainable in its current form”. I agree with their analysis, but would argue continued growth is inevitable because the strength and comparative advantage of Cambodia’s economy lies in something quite durable: human capital. Cambodia’s human capital is impressive in that it is shaped and sustained by an obvious but mostly intangible quality: young Cambodians’ extraordinarily strong work ethic and ambition.

Continue Reading 26 March 2010 at 06:00 2 comments

The Beauty in Chaos

The other night, I was on the back of a moto entering a major intersection. It was a typical Phnom Penh intersection: motos, tuk-tuks, cars, trucks and bicycles waited their turn to cross. Each driver determined the most desirable path for their vehicle and the many modes of transport were propelled at each other from seven different directions, narrowly avoiding head-on and sideways collisions, often within a hairs width. I tucked my knees in closer to the moto as we navigated straight down the densely packed street, slowing to allow a car to pass and turn left, speeding a bit to avoid the moto that barreled at us perpendicularly from the right, turning ever so slightly to allow more space for the moto next to us to advance forward. We got through the intersection with no problems, as did every other motorist.

Continue Reading 13 March 2010 at 06:00 8 comments

Living atop a Goldmine without a Shovel: Property Rights and Development in Cambodia

“Whenever there is a conflict between human rights and property rights, human rights must prevail” –Abraham Lincoln

I recently had the privilege to meet four Kiva borrowers living in a slum in northern Phnom Penh. As a Kiva Fellow and microfinance fan, it was a positive experience overall because all four explained that they had managed to double their daily incomes by investing in their businesses with a simple $200 loan, and had no trouble paying the loans back. One point for microfinance! The problem was, all wanted to take out larger loans but could not because they don’t hold legitimate land titles, the primary form of collateral in Cambodia.

Continue Reading 23 February 2010 at 06:00 4 comments

First Week Reflections

Hello! My name is Polai and I am the new Kiva Fellow at field partner AMK. I arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia a little over a week ago. As I start my second week here, I wanted to reflect on my experience so far being Kiva’s first Khmer speaking fellow and a Cambodian-American living here.

Continue Reading 16 February 2010 at 04:14 2 comments

Microfinance Will Not End Poverty, Microfinance Institutions Will

Inspired by Nicholas Kristof’s latest blog post: The Role of Microfinance

Microfinance is “the most visible innovation in anti-poverty policy in the last half century.” Because of this, many have put such high expectations on the effects of microfinance and the pace at which it can have an impact on ending poverty. Some have even called it the panacea for poverty.

Continue Reading 9 February 2010 at 17:19 22 comments

New Undertaking for Kiva, New Beginning for this Fellow

Social Performance Monitoring

This morning, I fly to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to begin three months as a Kiva Fellow at CREDIT, one of Kiva’s longest standing field partners.  Along with Bryan Goldfinger in Nicaragua and Nishita Roy in Lebanon, I will be one of three Kiva Fellows pilot testing Social Performance Monitoring at several field partners (in addition to conducting the more traditional duties of a Kiva Fellow).  Measuring a microfinance institution’s “social” performance, in addition to financial performance, is an increasingly important facet of microfinance assessment and will be a focal point on Kiva’s agenda this year.  Social performance is essentially a microfinance (more…)

4 February 2010 at 08:00 5 comments

No Need to Read

By Gemma North, KF9, Cambodia

I spend a lot of time walking the streets of Phnom Penh.  This is not a common practice for Cambodians, who know better than to try and navigate the chaotic sidewalks which are essentially an outdoor extension of stores, restaurants and living rooms, or even spaces for entirely separate businesses such as bicycle repairmen, women selling barbecued chicken feet, or mobile phone refill kiosks.  Yet I enjoy steering through this obstacle course as it allows me to take in, and slowly understand the details and habits that make up peoples’ daily lives.  However, as an outsider who speaks quite limited Khmer and who cannot begin to decipher the script, I have limited means of absorbing and understanding the wider concerns that affect the society.   Therefore I am lucky to find, amidst the bustling street scenes, clues on the broader issues facing this country today.

Ad on the back of a tuk tuk seat

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4 January 2010 at 17:07 7 comments

Holiday Greetings – KF9 on Christmas

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:

Nicki Goh, KF9 Senegal
This coming weekend, the Senegalese have a 4 day weekend with both Christian and Islamic holidays straddling the weekend. I will make the most of the time off work to visit the Sine-Saloum Delta on the Atlantic coast of Senegal – an area where my MFI SEM’s work is extremely important to ecovillagers. The delta is an area of immense natural beauty which is sadly at risk of desertification and where there is a high level of unemployment. This time I will be on vacation but I hope to return there at a later date to meet some of the borrowers for myself. Happy holidays to you all – whatever your religion!

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25 December 2009 at 02:36 5 comments

“Hearing something one hundred times is little compared to seeing something once.”

By Gemma North, KF9, Cambodia

So goes my Cambodian colleague’s expression on the value of experience.  It has been just over a week since I arrived in Phnom Penh to begin my fellowship with CREDIT.  Before coming I had done some reading on Cambodia’s history and culture, but had tried to arrive without any preconceived notions.  After spending just a short time in the field however, it became clear that I had brought along my “western” mind and misconceptions.  Luckily, I have had the chance to address a few of my assumptions on microfinance.  (more…)

10 December 2009 at 04:44 7 comments

Using Microfinance to Combat Human Trafficking: Spotlight on Katie Davis (KF7)

by James Han, KF9 Cambodia (AMK)

We typically measure the impact of microfinance through financial measures.  What interest rates are the microfinance institutions (MFIs) charging? Has the client’s business experienced increased profits?  Has a population increased its household income?  These are all valid questions and are at the center of measuring the effectiveness of microfinance.

But, I was recently inspired by the broader social impact that microfinance can have.  While the “social bottom line” may not be as quantifiable as interest rates or household income, MFIs such as AMK are proving that an MFI with a strong social mission can have a truly profound impact on a local community.

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17 November 2009 at 19:34 11 comments

My first impressions in Cambodia

by James Han, KF9 Cambodia (AMK)

AMK's New Home Office in Phnom Penh

AMK's new home office in Phnom Penh

Sus-Dai (Hello)! My name is James Han and I recently took a 3-month leave of absence from my management consulting career to work in Cambodia with Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK), currently Kiva’s largest field partner.  I’m thrilled to see first-hand how AMK operates as they are one of the most well-respected and efficiently operated MFIs in SE Asia (more to come on that topic in future blogs).  I also have some big shoes to fill as past Kiva Fellows from AMK have either been hired full-time by AMK to start new initiatives (again, more to come later) or have now become famous in the Kiva world (e.g. Kieran Ball who created the Kiva video, “A Fistful of Dollars – The Story of a Kiva.org Loan”).  No pressure!

My work plan over the next 10 weeks will be slightly different from the typical Kiva Fellow work plan  I have been out in the Kompong Chhnang province of Cambodia for the past week, meeting with the local entrepreneurs and conducting Kiva Journal updates.  I’ll continue to do this for the next 2-3 weeks and then spend the majority of my remaining time working on a couple special projects for AMK.  Before my placement began, I was sent a list of two dozen projects I could potentially work on, ranging from researching the use of mobile phones in microfinance to new product development for special interest groups, such as victims of human trafficking.  While it was hard to choose, I decided to stay in my consulting sweet-spot and will help AMK revise their incentive and salary compensation programs and will also devise a measurement system so AMK can compare performance between their various branches.  I feel like a kid in a candy shop and will certainly do as much as I can with my limited time here!  Be on the lookout for updates!

I’ll leave you with my first observations about life in Cambodia:

(more…)

18 October 2009 at 23:57 14 comments

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