I recently began work at MDO Arvand, formerly MicroInvest. Arvand, which will soon return to the Kiva website, is currently growing and expanding its client base in Northern Tajikistan. It has created an interesting way to explain Microfinance to its clients, but also to its clients children. Using a Tajik Fairy Tale it has written a small book that it hands out to its clients titled “The Stork and the Golden Grain”. The stork is the bird of good luck in this part of the world.
It begins with two neighbors. A rich one and a poor one. One day the poor neighbor decides to go ask the rich neighbor for some money so that he can buy seeds for his field.
The rich man asks what he will get in return for the money. The poor man says that he has nothing to give the rich man. So the rich man throws the poor man out of his house thinking the poor man is trying to cheat him.
While walking home the poor man sees a stork. He runs home worried the stork will take the little grain he has. The stork decides to rest on his roof and asks how he can thank the poor man.
“How can you help me?” responds the poor man “You’ve just come over the mountains.”
“I will give you this golden grain. Plant it in your best land, work hard, and the best grain will grow there, and it will be plentiful. I will return in the fall and visit you.”
“What do you want in return for the golden grain?” Asked the poor man.
“Just return to me the grain I give you, plus a little more.”
The stork flew away and the poor man planted the grain. As autumn came the poor mans fields are filled with the best grain, better than his neighbors. He has more than he needs to feed his family and save to plant the next year, so he sells it and buys some more land from his neighbor.
The Stork returns and the no longer poor man gives the grain he has asked for.
“What will you do with the grain?” the man asks.
“I am going to give it to people who also need help. But now, thanks to you, I can give it to two people. Every year I will be able to help more and more people. So thank you for letting me rest upon your roof, I am off to help other people.”
The back pages says
The Stork- MDO “Arvand”
The poor man – Potential clients
The rich man- non-official financial dealers and big banks
The golden grain- the financial services “Arvand” offers.
The illustrations were done by one of the employees.
A fun little story to explain to everyone the different roles of the MFI.
By Sam Kendall KF 12 Tajikistan
Though Arvand is currently not on the Kiva website, please loan to any of the Tajikistan entrepreneurs. And stay tuned on Arvand’s “return” to the Kiva website.