Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kiva: Martha and Khoen

See this field, and this wonderfully cheerful man?
This is Mr Khoen Khiev , and he's going to grow jasmine there.  For my work Christmas cards this year, I took out two Kiva loans and included information about one or the other in each card, with a note.  The one with Khoen said:
Your gift
will grow jasmine in Cambodia.
To show how grateful I am for your work and help this year, I’ve made a Kiva loan
that will be as productive
and appreciated as you are.

Here's some more information about him:

Mr. Khoeun Khiev, 55, and his wife, Mrs. Heng Sok, 50, live along the Tonle Basac River, a tributary of the nearby Mekong River, about 15 kilometers from Phnom Penh. They were married in 1978 during the Pol Pot regime and have four children: one son and three daughters. Three of their children have full-time employment and the youngest daughter studies in a local school. Khoeun and his wife have been growing jasmine flowers for ten years. In addition to farming jasmine, he is also a fisherman. The couple grow jasmine on their farmland near the house and sell the flowers in the Phnom Penh market. Khoeun is requesting a loan of $700. He will use some of it to purchase a water pump and pipe for farming. With the remainder, he will buy more jasmine trees to plant on his new plot of farmland.

The other loan was to Martha:

I chose this one for the particularly office people at work, because of the stationery.  Here's more about Martha Luz Chogas de Melendez :

Martha belongs to the Nuevo Eden (New Eden) Communal Bank, located on #441 Jr. Aguaytia, Yarinacocha district, Coronel Portillo province, Ucayali department. She is 49 years old, is the mother of 2 grown-up children ans she is married. Her husband works as a professional photographer. With the first loan that she received from Manuela Ramos of 300 soles (Peruvian currency) she decided to invested in selling stationery and school supplies.
Currently, she is dedicated to sell stationery and school supplies and has a copy machine at home. This business provide her earnings that allow her to pay her loan back on time.
With this loan of 2,000 soles (Peruvian currency), which will be paid back in 4 months, Martha will buy 6 boxes of ballpoint pens, 4 dozen notebooks, 3 dozens of luster paper, fixing the copy machine, etc.
Martha feels happy with everything that she has been able to accomplish. Thanks to the support of the communal bank her economic stability has improved.

And my card said:

Your gift will buy stationery and fix a copier in Peru.
To show how grateful I am for your work and help this year, I’ve made a Kiva loan
that will be as productive
and appreciated as you are.

There's another group of friends with whom a Christmas present exchange takes place - next year, we're planning that each of the four of us will choose a favourite charity and make a donation to that instead of exchanging gifts.

My Kiva portfolio is growing! - these are the seventh and eighth loans I've made.  Once I've put money in, I don't take it out when it's repaid, but reinvest in another Kiva entrepreneur.  Most of my loans have focused on textiles, since that's a particular interest for me, but there are so many great possibilities... there's a permanent Kiva link over on the sidebar, so do take a look.  I hope that some of those to whom I gave Christmas cards consider investing in Kiva too.  It's been a good thing to discover in 2008.

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