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Kiva Not What It Seems…? Part II by sylvng
May 11, 2010, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Microphilanthropy | Tags: , , ,

A while ago I wrote about the big debate going on about micro-lending and its impact on communities in third world countries.  I cross-posted the article on SocialActions and got the following comment from Ingrid Vercruyssen, who’s seen first hand the impact of micro-lending in Cambodia. It’s very interesting to get a personal perspective from the ground level!

Hello Sylvia,

I realize this is an old post, but I just came back from Cambodia and had a chance to see micro-lending for myself during my visit.  While Kiva and the others may say one thing, the reality is a stark contrast: People are loosing their homes, their lands in the worse case. In the better cases, they borrow what they can’t pay back, and so begins the cycle of borrowing to repay previous loans.

I have seen Kiva’s micro-lending field partner in action, touring the villages with their moto and befriending the villagers. When I spoke to weavers, they said they often can’t repay their loans because they don’t make enough money selling their silks. The micro lender knows that, I know that and it’s even been written about in the Phnom Penh Post! In fact, most borrow money for personal things completely unrelated to this “enterprise myth”.

This is something that really angered me, as there is absolutely no difference between what I witnessed and the sub-prime predatory tactics recently denounced in the West. I will blog about it shortly and I can assure you I am never making another micro-loan.

Ingrid’s promised that she’ll share more details later, so when I get that info I’ll be sure to share!

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