Project 5: The Sopheap Chun Women in Cambodia

Sopheap Chun Village group
Here is a summary of The Road’s fifth social project:

A micro-financing loan to the Sopheap Chun Village Group in Cambodia.

Sopheap Chun is 22 mother of two children. She is married to Chhit Ka, who is a palm juice collector.

Sopheap is the village bank president of a bank loan which consists of fifteen people, in Andoung Russey (Kampong Chhnang Province in Cambodia). She is also a pot maker in the local village.

She is looking to purchase new equipment for their business. A loan would also allow her to buy additional materials to produce more palm sugar.

This is an End-of-Term village bank loan, considered as the most beneficial to Cambodia’s poor. It allows them to repay portions of the principal whenever they are financially able to. Most start to make payments many months before the end of the loan term. (See the group’s full profile on Kiva)

This loan goes through “AMK”, the local micro financing partner of Kiva.

Loan Request: $1,900
Repayment terms: 11 months (Deadline Dec 15 2009)
We gave them a loan of US$100

This is The Road’s 5th social project. The funds for this loan were donated by the VK0IR Heard Island expedition team.

Project 4: Teresa Mamani in Bolivia

Teresa Mamani Villa Group

Here is a summary of The Road’s fourth social project:

A micro-financing loan to the Teresa Mamani Women’s Group in Bolivia.

Ms Teresa presides The “Mujeres Vencedoras” (or “Winning Women”) Community Bank in El Alto (Bolivia).

The members, all women, primarily earn a living from dress-making, and from selling food and vegetables. Some own neighbourhood stores, while others own independent micro-businesses.

The majority of the women already know each other and have experience in solidarity groups. It is a group of very happy and motivated people.

Owing to their punctuality and commitment from their previous three loans, this group is classified as one of the most enterprising by “Fundación Agrocapital”, the local micro financing partner of Kiva. (See the group’s full profile on Kiva).

Loan Request: $3,900
Repayment terms: 3 months (Deadline March 15 2009)
We gave them a loan of US$100

This is The Road’s 4th social project. The funds for this loan were donated by the VK0IR Heard Island expedition team.

Project 3: Fatuma Jumbe in Tanzania

Fatuma Jumbe Group
Here is a summary of The Road’s third social project:

A micro-financing loan to the Fatuma Jumbe Women’s Group in Tanzania .

Fatuma Jumbe, 51, is married with 6 children. She has a tailoring business which she began 15 years ago. Working from 8 to 5 daily, she is able to make a monthly profit of about US$80.

She has taken out three previous loans, all since repaid, to buy vitenge (traditional Swahili fabrics) which she sells at her sewing shop. She now would like to buy a sewing (interlocking) machine.

Fatuma will share this loan with her loan group, Mabibo Freedom, whose 15 members hold each other accountable in paying back their loans. In the picture, Fatuma is sitting on the left in the front row. (See their full profile on Kiva).

Their loan went through “Tujijenge Tanzania Ltd”, a local micro financing partner of Kiva.

In a group loan like this one, each member of the group receives an individual loan but is part of a group of individuals bound by a group guarantee.
Under this arrangement, each member of the group supports one another and is responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members if someone is delinquent or defaults. This is not only a financial guarantee, but also stimulates the social solidarity and responsibility aspect of micro-financing.

Loan Request: $4,000
Repayment terms: 3 months (Deadline April 15 2009)
We gave them a loan of US$100

This is The Road’s 3rd social project. The funds for this loan were donated by the VK0IR Heard Island expedition team.

From Antarctica to Africa’s micro financing, a small step

VK0IR - Heard Island team

Heard IslandTwelve years ago, I was privileged to coordinate an Antarctic expedition together with my partners and co-expedition leaders Ralph Fedor and Robert Schmieder.

We headed a group of 20 extra-ordinary people to Heard Island, one of the most remote places in the world, nothing but a small speck in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The core of the adventure was a radio amateur expedition, under the call sign VK0IR. We smashed all the standing world records at that time.

Landing on Heard IslandBut the feat will not remain in my memory for the amount of radio contacts we made at the time, nor for the fact it was financially even a more daring adventure than one of physical challenges.
I have long forgotten the expedition had a false start when an Australian crook scammed us for a large sum of money delivering a half sinking boat as a prospect expedition vessel.
No, I will remember this exploit for the team we had. The way the group of people from 9 different countries folded together and tackled the harsh conditions and challenges of the extreme, and set a performance which became hard to match. Through its spirit of “camaradery”.

Heard island teamTwelve years on, many of us are still in contact. And once again, the group shows its great heart: there were some funds left over from the sales of our expedition book and video, kept in the custodianship of my friend and ex-colleague Ghis. It is now agreed to re-use these funds for a good cause.

On the occasion of The Road’s 200,000th visitor, we will re-use these expedition funds for interest-free micro-financing projects boasting The Road’s social project “Change Starts Here”.

This brings the total funds we collected and invested through The Road’s Kiva lending team to US$3,724!

Over the next weeks, we will be investing the funds in the Kiva projects, keeping you informed as we go along. You can keep track of the project through its score card.

Want to participate? Join our Kiva lending team!

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