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These are all the journal entries from projects we've lent to.

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Entry regarding Sao (3e maj 2011)

Over the past 3 months, I have had been able to spend time in this warm and welcoming country, and met with a number of CREDIT entrepreneurs while performing a routine borrower verification, a Kiva requirement of its field partners.

What is a borrower verification, and why does Kiva require it?
A borrower verification is a process Kiva relies on to maintain strong partnerships with microfinance institutions like CREDIT. With a sample of ten randomly-selected clients, a Kiva Fellow or staff member will go to the field and visit each entrepreneur, making sure that all of their information matches what is on the borrower's page on Kiva.

Kiva requires a borrower verification from new partners, to ensure honesty and accuracy in their information, which benefits both the borrowers and lenders like you. This way, you can trust that the money you so generously lend goes to a real person with a real business. Longtime partners such as CREDIT go through several borrower verifications over the course of the partnership, mainly so that Kiva is able to get a sense of how effectively things are run in the field.

That sounds good, so what happened?
Some of the most dynamic, incredible borrowers that I've met in Cambodia were CREDIT clients! Some highlights:

Lun Sino, who took out a loan with her husband Sourn Chay to start a business selling mangoes and meatballs. Her business has done so well that she has passed the meatball business on to her daughter to run, and has started a new venture: selling mango jam! She had such a vibrant personality that Kiva and TakePart featured her on International Women's Day, so she's now a mini-celebrity!

I also met with Um Lart, a basket weaver from Takeo province. Pictured are the baskets she worked tirelessly to create, which are sturdy and popular among members of her village who rely on them to carry vegetables and fruit from their farms to the markets in the morning. Since she works alone, Um can create one basket per day. After she's done with her Kiva loan, she is looking forward to expanding her operations, hopefully taking on additional employees to create more baskets in less time.

Lastly, I met with Norn Phirom, an ethnic Vietnamese borrower living in Cambodia. Having started out as a housewife, Norn ventured out of her village to the busy markets of Phnom Penh to purchase snacks and other convenience goods to sell out of her home. In running this business, she's able to spend time with her baby, earn money to support her family, and also learn the importance of building relationships with her clients (she told me that she and some of her clients have become very good friends).

CREDIT's staff was extremely professional and some of the friendliest people I have ever met. CREDIT also cares immensely about its borrowers, which was one of the first things I noticed. Thanks for reading, and more importantly, thank you for your loan to a CREDIT borrower!

Cheers,
Stephanie Sibal, Kiva Fellow, KF14 Cambodia
CREDIT, a partner of World Relief


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715654
Entry regarding Edwin (8e mars 2011)

Dear Lenders,

Thank you for supporting Kiva borrowers in Bolivia through CIDRE. It's been an amazing experience working as a Kiva Fellow and dedicating part of my four-month stay in Bolivia to the staff and mission of CIDRE. I wanted to take a minute to tell you a little bit more about Kiva's Cochabamba based field partner and the work they are doing, particularly for the dairy farmers in the rural areas surrounding the city.

A Thorough Understanding of the Clients and Their Business Activities

CIDRE provides funding for small business owners working in both services and production, but the majority of the loans they distribute are within the farming and livestock sector. They offer a wide variety of products tailored to their clients' needs in an effort to fulfill their mission statement, which is to contribute to the sustainable development of small agricultural producers and micro-and small businesses in rural and peri-urban areas.

Because CIDRE's work is heavily focused on the area of dairy production, they have acquired a knowledge and understanding of the sector that allows them to effectively serve dairy farmers that have historically been excluded from financial services. The institution knows, for example, what a head of cattle costs, and they are easily able to assess how much milk their individual clients can produce, based on how many heads of cattle they have, the quality of machinery, etc. For this reason, they can confidently and responsibly lend to a dairy farmer using only the client's cows as collateral, whereas rivaling financial institutions might require a house or automobile as collateral.

CIDRE's loan officers have observed that farmers are able to more efficiently produce better quality milk subsequent to taking out a loan. CIDRE witnesses its clients working harder and become more responsible because they take their debt very seriously and want to pay it off on time. People are also empowered by the fact that they are now worthy of credit and that there is someone looking out for their interests.

In even more remote areas of the department of Cochabamba, CIDRE works hard to bring financial services to a number of small villages through their regional offices. One of their 11 regional offices is located in Colomi, where clients' main activity is growing and selling crops such as potatoes and beans. Since 2002, two of CIDRE's loan officers have been based in the Colomi office and spend their days traveling great distances to visit with borrowers in the region, saving the clients the time and expense involved with traveling far to make payments on their loan.

Catching up with CIDRE's Kiva Coordinator, Veronica Aponte

In addition to her position as a loan officer with her own portfolio of clients, Veronica Aponte works as the Kiva Coordinator for CIDRE. She has worked for the organization for one year, and only took on the responsibility of Kiva about three months ago. When I asked her what her favorite part about working at CIDRE has been, without hesitation she explained the satisfaction she gets from getting to know the clients on a very personal level. She described the deep relationship she is able to build with clients through the monthly visits.

As opposed to a more traditional financial institution that merely collects the monthly payments from its clients, Veronica is trained to inquire into the progress and condition of the client and his/her family and, if need be, help them to solve any problems they may be having. Not only has she built relationships with the clients she serves, Veronica has also, in many cases, gotten to know their neighbors well, and thus feels truly connected to the neighborhoods in which CIDRE works. Her favorite part of the job is the feeling that she is working for social change, rather than just focusing on the provision of credit.

Kiva partnered with CIDRE in July 2009. The zero interest funding from Kiva has allowed CIDRE to expand its outreach and offer many clients small loans with lower interest rates than previously possible. Veronica notes that she particularly enjoys her interactions with Kiva borrowers; because they take out smaller loans relative to CIDRE's other clients, they are often even more open to sharing about their lives, businesses and experiences.

Vanessa Ayala Villarroel

The best part about working as a Kiva Fellow is without doubt being able to visit borrowers. Last week I had the chance to catch up with Vanessa Ayala Villarroel, one of CIDRE's Kiva borrowers working in dairy production. She had just finished paying off her $1,000 dollar loan. Although some of her payments were late, an obviously good relationship with her loan officer helped her to get back on her feet and pay off the loan in full.

At the time Vanessa applied for the loan, she was splitting her time between her dairy business and studying at the university. The birth of her baby four months ago forced her to leave the university, but her business continues to grow and she now has 12 heads of cattle. Most dairy farmers in her area sell their milk to Pil, one of Bolivia's largest distributors of dairy products; Vanessa sells part of the milk her cows produce to Pil, but is also involved in the manual process of producing cheese and yoghurt, which she sells independently.

Vanessa's loan officer explained to me that it is typical in the region for parents to give their children a head of cattle to start their own dairy business and gain their independence, while they study at the university simultaneously. Whereas some of these young people finish their studies and switch to a different career, others choose to continue as dairy farmers, usually growing their business and purchasing additional heads of cattle.

Vanessa doubts whether she'll go back to school now that she has her baby and business to take care of, but she has big dreams for her business and really enjoys the entrepreneurial side of running a business. In addition to growing her dairy business, she hopes to one day open a store in the city center.

Thank you so much for your support of Bolivian entrepreneurs like Vanessa!

To search for currently fundraising CIDRE loans on Kiva, click here.

No currently fundraising clients? Please check back soon! In the meantime, you can join CIDRE's Kiva Lending Team .

Best regards,

Julie Shea, KF13 Bolivia


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402208
Entry regarding Viviane Abave (28e februari 2011)

Your loan to a Microfund Togo borrower was recently defaulted. To learn more about the reasons for this default, please visit Microfund Togo's field partner page.

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715638
Entry regarding 07.02.01 Hoang Hoa Group (18e februari 2011)

My name is Khiem Le and I have been volunteering as a Kiva Fellow with the Thanh Hoa Fund for Poor Women in Vietnam for the past several months. I am wrapping up my fellowship with Kiva and thought I should share some information about FPW with you before I leave. As a Kiva Fellow, I have had the wonderful opportunity to spend 12 weeks working side by side with FPW's office staff in Thanh Hoa city, getting to know their organization, learning their operation, observing their strengths and weaknesses.

The purpose of this message is to update you on (the MFI partner) how Kiva funds are being used by Thanh Hoa Fund for Poor Women (FPW) to serve poor and low-income women in third most populous province in Vietnam, Thanh Hoa province. FPW has been a Kiva field partner for over 2 years (hosting over 5 Kiva Fellows during that time). To date, you and other Kiva lenders have funded over 1736 entrepreneurs in the rural districts of Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam, totaling over $426,850 in loans distributed.

Thanh Hoa Fund for Poor Women's mission is to build strong families and community through sustainable financial and non-financial services for poor and low-income households in Thanh Hoa province, by providing women with the opportunity to be financially independent in their community and financial contributors to their families. With over 97% of their clients being women, FPW's strives to provide loan priority to women with malnourish children, women with children who have dropped out of primary school, single women, women who are not eligible for other form of credit services from other institutions, and women who have the ability and capacity for labor and entrepreneurship. Thanh Hoa province is primarily a rural province with the exception of Thanh Hoa city which is really a small town built along a major highway, therefore over 85% of FPW`s clients live in rural areas outside of the city operating businesses that range from retail shops and food stalls to rice-wine making, brick making and making compressed coal cylinders to fishing, farming, and livestock.

With their goal of becoming an official "small" Microfinance Institution in Vietnam, FPW has made strides since its inception to achieving this goal. Some of the current efforts that FPW has worked towards to improve their operations includes implementing a new Management Information System to manage their growing portfolio of clients, continuous training programs (in management, insurance, customer services, microfinance standards, etc.) for their staff, as well as educational programs that benefit the community in which they serve in such as women's rights programs, sanitation programs, and health education programs. In addition to these services, FPW also provide consultation services to other institution trying to establish similar operations.

Currently, FPW's main objective and its main barrier is funding, there is a surplus in demand for microloans from the 7 districts where FPW's branches operate. In the past FPW has only offered group loans primarily to foster their mission of creating a sense family and community for the client collectives for which they serve. FPW's products are designed for poor and low-income households while maintain the financial viability; products are designed with reasonable loan amounts various terms that meet the client's needs, including very small loans (as low as 500,000 VND, roughly 25 USD). The Board of Directors and the MFI staff continue to seek additional funding sources to expand while managing a sustainable portfolio and operation. Furthermore, FPW has been vigilant in creating a respectable name for itself in the microfinance community by seeking opportunities for improvements through consultations and technical assistances from international sponsors as well as seeking internationally recognized audits to help understand its organization and meet its mission objectives.

FPW like many other organizations, rely on their staff in the field to execute its strategy and operations. There are currently 37 credit officers, 7 branch managers, and 7 accountants spread across the seven branches. The staffs at the local branches depend on their relationships with the community and clients to expedite their work, in turn also building relationships between the organization and the clients.

My experiences these past couple of months has been more than about learning about microfinance, it has put me in touch with a world far from my own and allowed me to see the impact that lenders like you make regularly through Kiva.

On behalf of Kiva, the Thanh Hoa Fund for Poor Women, and myself, I would like to Thank You for continuing to change lives through loans.

To learn more about this partner please visit their Kiva Partner Profile or the MFI's website.

Find recent loans or make a loan to entrepreneurs from this partner.

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543198
Entry regarding Sao (19e november 2010)

Dear Kiva CREDIT Lender,

Thank you for supporting a Cambodian entrepreneur with CREDIT. As a Kiva Fellow, for the past three months I have had the privilege to interact with CREDIT and its borrowers. As Kiva's oldest partner in Cambodia, CREDIT has reached countless borrowers throughout the partnership, and continues to provide new opportunities to target low-income communities in the country, including through CREDIT's Vulnerable Services Unit (VSU) for more marginalized and vulnerable populations, as well as the organization's new Trust Bank program.

From the VSU program, responsible clients are offered the Trust Bank program. Both programs offer non-collateral loans for guarantee groups and trainings, but the Trust Bank also provides slightly larger loans (from $125 - $400 USD), as well as agricultural trainings.

Subsistence agriculture and farming businesses are very common throughout Cambodia. The latest data by the World Bank shows that "approximately 80 percent of Cambodia's population lives in rural areas and 71 percent depend primarily on agriculture (largely rice) and livestock for their livelihoods." This population tends to live in poverty and is therefore a critical segment of population for development and microfinance assistance, as CREDIT has noted.

Two months ago, a rural guarantee group expressed interest in an agriculture training. Last week CREDIT and partner Green Agricultural Product provided training to 10 borrowers on family farming.

Sothy, a representative from Green Agricultural Product, presented throughout the two day training. The family farming training focused on growing vegetables and how to increase farming productivity. Topics covered included properly preparing the soil, how to make compost fertilizer and solid compost, managing proper bacteria in the soil, and how to destroy harmful insects and prevent domestic animals from grazing on crops. In addition, the training taught borrowers about water management, including how to maintain good soil during the rainy and dry seasons, as well as what kinds of vegetables to chose for sunny and/or shaded areas. Clients learned techniques in how to plant within a garden as well as in a seed bed, and harvesting in general.

Borrowers were taught with written and illustrated teaching materials, an individual manual, as well as a practical approach as borrowers worked together creating a garden using the skills they learned. Out of a barren patch of land, the borrowers created a full garden of tomato, ginger, morning glory, bell pepper, ginger, chili, papaya, and a fruit similar to cassava.

As a CREDIT lender, we rarely see the poorest borrowers of CREDIT as their small loans and needs require a more direct approach from the organization. Yet, it was enlightening to see the work CREDIT does behind-the-scenes. The commitment to providing new skills and therefore a chance for improved livelihoods was inspiring and makes a difference far beyond a loan.

Thank you again for supporting CREDIT and its borrowers.


Sincerely,
Anjali Fleury, Kiva Fellow – Cambodia


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536754
Entry regarding Garubunda, Rukungiri Group (30e oktober 2010)

Bwede Eldard used this loan money to buy more manure for his farming gardens. He also says he bought some additional land to expand on his farming activities.

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539821
Entry regarding Migyera Development B, Kihihi Group (29e oktober 2010)

Byagagya Leo says this loan money was utilized in buying more timber for making furniture at his carpentry workshop. He says his business has expanded and this expansion has manifested itself in the myriad furniture he has been able to resell.



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539821
Entry regarding Migyera Development B, Kihihi Group (29e oktober 2010)

Byagagya Leo says this loan money was utilized in buying more timber for making furniture at his carpentry workshop. He says his business has expanded and this expansion has manifested itself in the myriad furniture he has been able to resell.



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539821
Entry regarding Migyera Development B, Kihihi Group (29e oktober 2010)

Barina Benon says his furniture making business has been growing ever since he got this loan. With this loan, he made unexpectedly quick progress. He was able to buy more timber for his workshop.

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599735
Entry regarding Ama Pomaa (14e september 2010)






Ama Pomaa operates a dinking spot in her village. She sells both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. She has been operating this spot for almost ten years. She used the loan amount to buy more drinks for her stock.Eventhough profit has increased business is very slow. She admitted that shop would have closed her shop by now was it not for the loan she for the loan she took out. She would be glad to take out another loan after paying off her first loan. This is because the peak season for her business will arrive soon, that is Christmas. She explains that people buy a lot of drinks during Christmas so she really needs to increase her stock at that period. She uses her profit for payment of school fees and other utility bills.

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363954
Entry regarding Barakatou Sangaré (23e augusti 2010)

Depuis son prêt, Madame Barakatou Sangaré a vu son activité se développer. Son cycle achat vente est devenu rapide et son bénéfice est en augmentation constante. Cela est dû à la qualité de ses articles. La demande clientèle est grande, quant aux perspectives d'avenir, elles sont bonnes car elle jouit d'une grande clientèle et notoriété, ses produits sont de meilleures qualités.

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576942
Entry regarding Rose Gabada (29e juli 2010)

Rose Gabada lives in Kwamekru, a small, rural village in the Volta Region. Rose is 46 years old and mother of six children. Rose has become a mother at the age of 16, her firstborn is 30 years old and schooling at a training college. Rose's husband is a farmer. He is growing corn and cassawa. If they have harvested more than they need for their family they sell some of the crop.
Rose prepares "white clay" and sells it. To eat this "white clay" is said to be good if you suffer from stomache diseases and it is also said to help pregnant women to be provided with minerals and trace elements. Some people eat it just because of the sweet flavour (author's comment: when I ate it, I just felt like eating earth or clay, and there were stones in it, so you have to be careful not to bite on it).
Rose took the loan to buy more clay to prepare it. When we asked her, if the loan helped her, she told us that the repayment intervals (daily) required by CRAN were too short. Therefore she was not able to make profit. Anyway Rose thanks all the KIVA-lenders for trying to help her improve her business.

About Christian Rural Aid Network:

Christian Rural Aid Network is a non-governmental, rural development organization established in 1993 with the aim of promoting an improvement in the quality of life and the socio-economic development of the rural poor in Ghana. Based in Cape Coast and operating in three regions and seven different districts, CRAN's work is based on the values of Christian motivation and obligation towards the development of the individual as a whole, employing and promoting "demand-led" or "self-help" strategies for community development and rural poverty reduction. CRAN's mission is to "work towards the improvement in the quality of life of the rural poor, the disadvantaged and the marginalized populations and communities in a holistic fashion (physically, socially, economically and spiritually), with emphasis on the right of children to quality formal education, in addition to the economic and social empowerment of women in a professional and qualitative manner". To learn more about CRAN, click here. To browse through profiles of recent CRAN loan applicants and to make a loan to another worthy CRAN loan client, click here.


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363954
Entry regarding Barakatou Sangaré (21e januari 2010)

Madame Barakatou Sangaré a effectivement acheté 10 pièces de pagnes wax et 20 paires de chaussures. Depuis son prêt, son activité ne cesse de se développer. Son cycle achat vente est devenu rapide et son bénéfice est en augmentation constante. Cela est dû à la qualité de ses articles. La demande clientèle est grande, quant aux perspectives d’avenir, elles sont bonnes car elle jouit d’une grande clientèle et notoriété.

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406722
Entry regarding Digna Dugang (15e oktober 2009)

Digna Dugang utilized all her loan to fund her farm. She bought 3 sacks of fertilizers and pesticides. The loan helped a lot to grow her rice. "Thanks to all my lenders for this wonderful chance of sustaining my livelihood. Hope that you will continue to support more farmers like me".


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