Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thank You Lenders for Making Philippines a Success!!

Dear Lenders --

With the signing of Kiva's 8th partner in the Philippines, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for making our expansion into the country possible. In the past 9 months since the first Filipino loan was posted to Kiva, you all have lent over $1 million USD to support Filipino microentrepreneurs. It is because of your support that Kiva has been able to expand so quickly in the country to support the working poor. On behalf of our Filipino partners & Team Asia, please accept our sincerest thanks for all your support!

At the same time, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the main drivers for this incredible growth in the Philippines from the Kiva side: Rico Munoz (official title: PDS Extraordinaire) and the team of past & current Fellows who worked/are working incredibly hard with the Filipino MFIs to get set-up on Kiva. Given that almost a year ago, Kiva did not have any partners in the Philippines and was only beginning its entry into the Philippines, it is a testament to these individuals that we now have 8 strong Filipino partners (5 whom are Active partners!) who collectively have raised over $1MM on Kiva in this short period of time.

Specifically, Rico has been absolutely amazing in identifying, researching & training all of the Filipino partners. He not only has built a strong rapport with the organizations we currently are working with, but he also ensured that they responded to all of our requests in a timely fashion which was instrumental in expanding in the country so quickly. And as the Filipino loan & journal postings have demonstrated, Rico has done an exceptional job in helping the MFIs understand how to operationalize Kiva and making sure they have the necessary tools & training to be excellent Kiva partners.

And what more can I say about the team of Fellows I have worked with in the Philippines? Not only do they have to put up working with me, but they have the hard part of actually making sure everything Rico & I train the MFIs on actually sticks. From traveling to remote branch offices to train credit officers on Kiva to posting business profiles/journal updates to helping an MFI develop a Kiva Implementation Manual to completing Borrower Verifications, my Fellows have done it all and done it exceptionally well. Without them, it is unlikely that many of our partners would have been able to post so many loans in such a short amount a time nor would the 5 Active partners have become Active partners so quickly. More importantly, all of the MFIs who have received a Fellow absolutely LOVE them & have repeatedly thanked me for sending them such great individuals.

And since I am the author of this email, I’d like to single out the Filipino members of Team Awesome:

1. ASHI – John Briggs (KF7), Sloane Berrent (KF8)
2. ASKI - Teresa Dunbar (KF7), Drew Loizeaux (KF8)
3. CCT – Merrick Brown (KF8)
4. CEVI – Rob Cavese (KF7), Milena Arciszewski (KF8)
5. PMPC – Evie Marzec (KF7)

Also, huge thanks to the hard-working Fellows Team of JD, Zack & their army of volunteers for finding & training such a great group of Fellows for the Philippines!

Anyways, since this post is getting ridiculously long, I think I’ll end it here. I know that I’ve left out others who have been instrumental in helping Team Asia get the Philippines off the ground (Editing/Translations dealing with suddenly urgent requests to edit Filipino loans, the Investment Committee, etc.) but please know that we greatly appreciate all the help you have provided to us.

So here’s to everyone that have made the Philippines a roaring success and hopefully we will duplicate this type of growth in Indonesia and beyond!


Darren Miao
Microfinance Partnership Manager - Asia Pacific