What is a Mass Journal?

January 15, 2010

By Ed Coambs, KF9 Philippines, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation

One Great Center

I wanted to share with you one of the many finished products that a Kiva Fellow creates. In this case it is a mass journal. Each Kiva Fellow is expected at some point during their fellowship to write a personal entry to all the lenders that have made a loan through a particular field partner. Part of the mass journal should also clear up the relationship of field partners to Kiva. So I figured that many of the blog readers could also benefit from a similar letter and so here is mine. I hope that you find it helpful.

Hello Kiva lenders my name is Ed Coambs and I am a Kiva Fellow that has spent the last three months working with the field partner Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF). What’s that you don’t know who or what NWTF is, well that is ok. By the end of this journal my hope is that you will understand the important partnership field partners have with Kiva.

Field partners are the backbone of microfinance. They support Read the rest of this entry »

I have a dream…

January 14, 2010

By Ed Coambs, KF9 Philippines, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation

Have you ever had a dream. Sure you have. We all have.

I have created a short video in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and the women of Negros, Philippines to remind us all that it is important to dream and dream big.

Spending the last three months in the Philippines has been an amazing experience. I have traveled to meet many Kiva entrepreneurs all over the island of Negros, and no matter what I find a way to ask about their dreams. There is no doubt this has been the most inspirational part of my time here. I hope that you will take a few minutes to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and the women of Negros. They are both great dreamers.

A Christmas Party to Remember

January 11, 2010

By Ed Coambs, KF9 Philippines, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation

The start of a great Christmas party

The start of a great Christmas party

There is a video at the end of this post that is well worth the watch!

This Christmas was like many I have had in the past, there are Christmas songs filling the radio airwaves for a month. The local shopping mall is adorned with Christmas music. The office party is slated to have a secret Santa gift exchange. But what unfolded at the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation Christmas party was unlike anything I have experienced. Read the rest of this entry »

A field perspective of lending

January 11, 2010

By Ed Coambs, Kiva Fellows Philippines, Negros Women for Tomorrow

A Great Negros Women for Tomorrow entrepreneur

By now you have probably had a chance to make a loan on Kiva.org and if not you are thinking about it.  Either way you are probably thinking about how does the loan get made in the field.  Well like you I wondered this until I became a Kiva Fellow. Now that I have spent 3 months in the field,  I can honestly say I know how the lending process works.

Let me just say it is a lot hotter, and comes with shall I say a distinct smell that you will never get while clicking through Kiva.org at home or wherever you make your loans from.

I hope that you enjoy watching this short film I have put together to show what the lending process looks like from the field. After watching this short flick take a minute to check out Kiva.org and make a loan to one of the many great entrepreneurs out there.

Where to find Happiness

December 10, 2009

Snack time with the Galvez family

I have just spent the last three days sweating, bumping, and meeting new borrowers out in the field. My butt is exhausted from sitting on endless metal seats transporting me from one borrower interview to the next.  I have met some incredible women along the way, but I have reached a point at the end of the third day, when I am exhausted and think I can take no more. Then I meet one of the most amazing families. Read the rest of this entry »

A Lesson in Pottery

December 7, 2009

By Ed Coambs Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Philippines

The video may take a few minutes to load but it is well worth it.

Lorna Sagario has just shared her business with you. She makes clay pots for a living. When I came to center 35 to observe their weekly repayment meeting I was met with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. Of all the centers that I have visited center 35 was particularly welcoming and it was Read the rest of this entry »

The living conditions of a Kiva Fellow

November 24, 2009

By Ed Coambs, Philippines, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation

I have created this short video to show you what my room at Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation looks like. I have been so blessed because as I have talked with my other fellows I realize that I have it good. I have hot water, cable, minifridge, and a flushing toilet. These are all luxuries for a Kiva Fellow. If you like what you have seen on my blog link to the Kiva Fellows blog. There are really some great stories out there.

I hope that you have enjoyed my spin on MTV cribs. If you have questions about something you saw and would like to know more about it let me know by leaving a comment.

Short version of Adventuring out for borrower verifications

November 23, 2009

By Ed Coambs, Philippines, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation


Me with the staff of Bago branch

 

Hello readers. Below you will read about my experiences with borrower verifications. This is the short version. I have also included on my blog the long version of my experience. If you would like to read the long version just go to the next blog entry.

What will the field hold for me today as I go out to complete my first Kiva mission. I have been asked to spend time completing ten borrower verifications. The idea is first introduced to me during my fellowship training. The borrower verification process is one of the requirements for a Micro Finance Institution (MFI) that has partnered with Kiva to move from pilot to active status. (The pilot stage is designed to allow Kiva to evaluate the MFI, and their ability to meet all Kiva requirements. All MFI’s start in pilot status with a low fundraising limit and once they move to active status have their fundraising limit raised.) During training as I am introduced to the borrower verification process I think oh no problem I can knock this out in a day. All I have to do is take some photo’s, check documents, and ask some questions about the borrowers business. Well what unfolds Read the rest of this entry »

Adventuring out to complete borrower verifications

November 23, 2009

By Ed Coambs, The Philippines, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation


Bago Branch Staff

What will the field hold for me today as I go out to complete my first Kiva mission. I have been asked to spend time completing ten borrower verifications. The idea is first introduced to me during my fellowship training. The borrower verification process is one of the requirements for a Micro Finance Institution (MFI) that has partnered with Kiva to move from pilot to active status. (The pilot stage is designed to allow Kiva to evaluate the MFI, and their ability to meet all Kiva requirements. All MFI’s start in pilot status with a low fundraising limit and once they move to active status have their fundraising limit raised.) During training as I am introduced to the borrower verification process I think oh no problem I can knock this out in a day. All I have to do is take some photo’s, check documents, and ask some questions about the borrowers business. Well what unfolds Read the rest of this entry »

The experiences you don’t expect

November 10, 2009

The Grocery Store

This trip starts like any other to the mall. I have set out to pick up some groceries from the attached grocery store at the mall. This is my first time to go in this grocery store. The store is over flowing with people doing their shopping. The funny thing is that it is a Wednesday night, unlike the United States where people save their grocery shopping for the weekend this week night seems popular to pick up the essentials. After navigating endless isles of all the staples I make my way to check out lanes. As I make my way to the checkout there are two options one for small blue grocery carts and then check out stations for people with the standard grocery cart. Well on my way into the store I picked a small blue grocery cart knowing I would only need a few items.

My dilemma starts when Read the rest of this entry »


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