Posts Tagged 'Community Economic Ventures'

Kiva, Google Earth, and the Big Wide World

Ok so hear me out on this concept – I think it’s a good one.  In my eyes one of THE greatest things to come out of the last fifty years is the ability to travel.  The ability to see, to experience, to understand different cultures, and get a taste of what it’s like to live in a country vastly different to your own.

So what about Google Earth? Google Earth, is the ability to travel from the comfort of your desk, living room, or internet café.  Google Earth means that we can ‘fly over’ a country, do a bit of recon, so to speak; and then dream of the day when we will arrive in this destination.  Google Earth is travel for those with family obligations, no money, or no time.  Google Earth allows us to travel to places we never dreamed we could go.

Google Earth reminds us that, yes, there IS a big wide world out there beyond our desk, living room, or internet café.

And now what is Kiva? Kiva is a website where you can lend $25 to support businesses in the Philippines, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Uganda and many others.  This is done through a beautiful little thing called Microfinance.  BUT, the point that I would like to make is that, this is not ALL that Kiva is.

Kiva is the ability to travel from your life, into someone else’s life.

Kiva is the realisation that while you stare at a computer screen for nine hours a day looking at market fluctuations, some people earn a living growing rice and vegetables.

Kiva is the reminder that while you have two mischievous children to deal with, some people have nine.

Kiva helps us to remember that while we are worrying about job success, and having enough to purchase that dream house; some people are more concerned with putting food on the table, and giving their children the education they, themselves, never had.

Kiva is the Google Earth of the cultural world, yet Kiva shows us that the world has a lot more to offer than buildings, roads, borders, and airports.  Kiva reminds us that, yes, there IS a big wide world out there beyond our desk, living room, or internet café, and that this world is filled with millions of people, living their lives in millions of different ways.

Kiva reminds us that we are all really just a reflection of the culture around us.  I hate to break it to you but if you had been born here, where I am, in the Philippines you probably wouldn’t have THAT house, THAT car, THAT job.   The way we live our lives is largely a combination of country, culture, education, as well as access to funds and opportunity.  Microfinance is slowly but surely leveling the playing field for the latter: access to funds and opportunity.  So if you believe in this cause, then please support Kiva, support Microfinance, and do some cultural travelling of your own.  Cheers.

You can also read this blog on the Kiva Fellow’s Blog

My Right Hand Man, Sesenio

It is becoming increasingly obvious to me, living here in the Philippines, that SO often money does not go into the right hands. The two main shopping malls on the island of Bohol are owned by wealthy Chinese business men. Chain stores like Chow King, McDonalds, and Jollibee are filled with customers. When you ask people what they do in the weekend the common answer is “malling” or window shopping. Malls are synonymous with air conditioning. Air con means escaping the heat. Less people shop in the open markets and side of the road stalls. More people are drawn into the big chain stores.

And so the story goes, and it’s an old one, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. ENTER: Microfinance!

Microfinance is the “Robin Hood” of this scenario, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. The best thing is, that in the world of microfinance, Robin (aka Kiva) doesn’t need to steal, he simply asks anyone with a heart to lend $25. It’s too easy!

And now, people with hearts, I’d like to introduce to you Sesenio Jr. Sereno – the right man for your money! Sesenio is nearing the close of his loan on Kiva and is yet to be funded. Why? This is because he is asking for a $1100 loan, larger than most loans that go to Philippines clients. He is part of a new loan product offered by my microfinance institute Community Economic Ventures, Inc (CEVI) called the ASENSO loan (Asenso meaning developing). It is offered to clients who have been with CEVI in the early stages of their business when they needed just $200 to advance. However, CEVI also want to support these clients as they continue to expand their businesses beyond what they ever dreamed they could be. So, what I want to reiterate to you, is that while this is a large loan, it’s STILL going to the RIGHT person. Please watch the video below if you are new to this game and jump online to support Sesenio.

Hopefully by the time you read this blog Sesenio will already be funded. If this is the case please support someone else from Community Economic Ventures, Inc (CEVI).

You can also check out this story and more on



Hi there, I'm Anna - a 25 year old Kiwi just doing my thang. Hope you enjoy the blog.

I was posted in Bohol, Philippines for 3 months working for an organisation called Kiva as part of the The Kiva Fellows Program. Here I worked with a local Microfiance institute called Community Economic Ventures (CEVI) who were just awesome! From November-January 2011 I embarked on my second Kiva fellowship to Uganda and was working alongside Pearl Microfinance.

As part of the Kiva fellowship we had to blog about our experiences. Even though that phase of my life is over I'm keen to keep up with the writing. Most likely about travels & setting up business in the Philippines - or just anything else that comes into my head.

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