Written by Cissy DeLuca, Field Support Specialist, Asia and Europe
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of accompanying Premal Shah on a trip to visit Kiva field partners and borrowers in Cambodia. A lot of value came out of the trip as he was able to meet with top level management personnel, Kiva Coordinators and a number of Kiva borrowers. During our day with MAXIMA, we spent part of the morning with the CEO, COO, and Deputy CEO learning about the goals and long term plans of the organization. Premal then discussed Kiva's long term goals and led a brainstorm session on how we can work together to add more value for all Kiva stakeholders.
After the management meeting, we spent time with Sophal Ros (pictured above), the Kiva Coordinator. She is responsible for gathering borrower pictures and information from loan officers, writing the profiles and uploading the loans to Kiva. With a track record for posting great stories and a journal rate of 100%, Sophal is one of the hardest working Kiva Coordinators. She showed us her process for posting loans to Kiva and explained some of the challenges she often faces with her work.
Then, we headed out to the field to meet borrowers. Pa Kiry (pictured above), the HR Manager, joined us and served as a translator. After a 30 minute drive to a rural area outside of Phnom Penh, we were able to meet with a couple of borrowers. Vanna San, an entrepreneur funded through Kiva last November, was kind enough to show us her home, introduce us to her family and demonstrate her skills as a seamstress. We spent an hour with her learning about her background, current situation and future hopes for her family. Premal gave her a print out of her borrower profile and showed her the pictures of the people who had supplied her loan (pictured below).
Premal's visit was a joy for everyone involved - and a great look at the ecosystem of Kiva that connects us directly to borrowers. He is working on a post about his experience and the impact he has seen, stay tuned for his thoughts!