Today, in the wee hours of the morning, American shoppers queued up outside their favorite stores, waiting anxiously to get the holiday season’s best deals. As Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the USA, and is one of the most highly-trafficked days of the year for U.S. malls….I also found myself at the mall this Friday…though this mall was in the Philippines.Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with Philippines
Anna Cleal, KF13, Kampala, Uganda
These words were inspired by a recent conversation I had with a Ugandan man who had spent 10 years of his life living and working in the UK. He left shocked over the lack of community, how you couldn’t just talk to a stranger on the streets like in Uganda, and how people would refuse to acknowledge someone sitting next to them on the subway. ”They all just want their space!” he exclaimed mortified. He looked at his watch and said; “and it’s all about time.”
Here I seek to compile a list of my...Continue Reading >>
In the U.S., there is a great deal of concern about hidden fees from financial service providers. “Read the fine print!” we are warned, because this is where fees and special conditions hide.
In a small village in Antique Province in the Philippines, I witnessed an entirely different approach. I accompanied staff from Ahon sa Hirap (ASHI) for the training of a new member. Potential borrowers are required to attend several days of training on interest rates, the different types and levels of loans, and the mechanics of group lending in...Continue Reading >>
At a busy center meeting, a woman waits, among 50 other women, for her turn to meet with her loan officer and make a weekly loan repayment. In a different village in the Philippines, one woman collects repayments from her 50 other center members, then travels the distance to the nearest commercial center to make the weekly repayment for the entire group at a bank. Now, imagine a scenario where a borrower can simply go to a retailer in her village and make her loan repayment by text message. Sound interesting?
In a rural area served by NWTF – where mobile banking could...Continue Reading >>
Every day at 5pm Manila is blanketed with rain. I was nominally aware of this before I arrived, and spent a significant amount of time and a not insignificant amount of money equipping myself with waterproof Gortex jacket. To my dismay, I would have been better equipped with a golf umbrella and a pair of waders. In the Philippines, the start of a downpour does not indicate a cold front moving in, indeed the air is stays so warm the effect resembles a hot shower. It is far too hot for my Gortex jacket, and the flooded streets make my pair of sneakers comically impractical. Each day’s...Continue Reading >>
“We have Muslim brothers who avail (financial) services but the way they avail (these loans) is against our culture, against our beliefs.” ~Muslim leader, Davao, Mindanao
Islam first reached the southern shores of the Philippines during the 14th century and played a critical role in unifying kinship groups in several Filipino communities. With stronger networks of brotherhood and newfound Islamic faith, these communities were able to resist colonization by Spain and America for over 400 years, preserving their culture and religion. Today, though the majority of Muslim...Continue Reading >>
By John Rauschkolb III, KF-12, Philippines
They have a saying in Tagalog (native Filipino language), “hnd k mggng kuntento kung lagi mOng hnahnap ay ang gus2 o ninais mo, matuto kang mag-appreciate ng kung anung meron ka”. The translation to English is “You can never be content if you keep looking for something that you do not have, so start counting and appreciate the things that you do have…”
Here at Alalay Sa Kaunlaran (ASKI), Inc. in the Philippines they have found a great way to show their staff they are appreciated. As with many businesses in the U.S., the term...Continue Reading >>
As I noted in an earlier blog, the bulk of the Center for Community Transformation’s loans are made to small variety store owners for inventory restocking. This capital is necessary, and often allows owners to diversify their offerings, but it is clear there are few opportunities for much business growth. Competition is rampant, and demand local and limited.
It was inspiring then to meet a “round rag” maker in Manila who had developed partnerships with two companies interested in purchasing her rags. The companies needed thousands for use in their factories, and the borrower was...Continue Reading >>
More than 100 people in the microfinance sector from over 40 different organizations, from Mongolia, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines, gathered at Kiva’s Asia-Pacific Conference in Manila. The weeklong event marked the first time that many of Kiva’s partners from all over Asia, as well as other microfinance organizations, were able to come together in one place. Though many issues were discussed, the conference was devoted largely to the topic of social performance.
Measuring social performance has become an increasingly important topic in the microfinance sector. With the...Continue Reading >>
The past couple weeks at CCT in Manila provided me with an opportunity to take a closer look at the multitude of poverty alleviation services the organization provides. CCT targets several poverty groups (see diagram below), and tailors programs to each accordingly. Micro-entrepreneurs, broadly categorized in the middle of the poverty pyramid, are the recipients of the small business loans posted on Kiva. “Sufficiency” is the primary objective for this program, a mission reflected in the reality of loan utilization I observed in interviews with borrowers (primarily working capital...Continue Reading >>