Posts filed under ‘Angkor Microfinance Kampuchea (AMK)’

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

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

Work It Out

What do you do when your client is delinquent because the business that they have been doing for years is no longer viable? Or their spouse was in a traffic accident and their expenses tripled?

Continue Reading 2 May 2010 at 01:55 3 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

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:

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18 October 2009 at 23:57 14 comments

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