New loans to the Philippines

Roberto Doroni in the Philippines needed more farming supplies

Roberto Doroni in the Philippines needed more farming supplies

After typhoons Ketsana and Parma hit the Philippines, 7 million people were affected. we started a fundraiser and advocacy campaign here on “Have Impact!”, which generated more than 1,000 comments. I promised to raise $5 per comment, for micro finance loans to entrepreneurs in the Philippines so people could get their lives back on track, and restart if need be.

As part of this project, we have issued quite a few loans to people already. Roberto Doroni was one of them. He lives in Pangal Norte – Echague with his wife and two children. Farming is his main income, and he was looking for a loan of $325 to invest in more farming supplies so he could increase his crop yield.
We issued him a loan of $50, to be repaid over 7 months.

Here is the list of all 42 loans we have have issued over the past four days:

Apart from the loans I issued, many others have joined forces with us. members of our Kiva Lenders team issued over 2,000 US$ of loans just in the past week. Well done all!

More microfinance loans to the Philippines

Felicino Sara in the Philippines

Felicino Sara in the Philippines

In our team effort to raise microfinance loans for the Philippines, which were hard hit by the recent typhoons, we are raising $5 per comment left on our kickoff post. Our action runs until October 31.

Apart from fundraising, we continue to allocate new loans to entrepreneurs in the Philippines who will use the funds to revive and expand their livelihood.

Diane, one of our Kiva Lenders’ team, stepped forward and helped me out. She already allocated 25 loans for a total of $625 for this project. She committed to “buy” up to 200 comments on the post I mentioned before.

My Friend “E”, donated $300 to “buy” 60 comments, loans allocated in this post.

Elizabeth, a colleague and friend, who is also member of our Kiva team, donated $100, and as such “bought” 20 comments. Her loans are allocated in this post.

I donated $300, buying 60 comments, for 6 loans.

Our Philippines project has now allocated $1,325 already.

The most recent loan went to Felicino Sara in Trento, Agusan Del Sur, in the Philippines. Felicino is 58 years old and farms a small rice field a short distance away from his village. He hopes the farm will help him supply his family with the food, clothes and other basic things they need. He constantly attempts to surpass the size of his previous harvest.

He needed a loan of $175, refundable over 7 months, as an additional capital for his business. The loan will help him sustain his livelihood until the next harvest.

As small stake holder farmers are the “engine” of the economy in a country like the Philippines, we gave him a loan of US$50.

The loans we allocated in the past two days:

Our first loans to the Philippines after the typhoons

Norma Danao in the Philippines

Norma Danao in the Philippines

After the devastating typhoons hit the Philippines, we started a fundraising project, to better the lives of the entrepreneurs there. I promised $5 for every comment left on the kick-off post. At the moment of writing we received close 500 comments, and thus raised over US$2,500 already.

The loans issued today, are part of that project. They loans have been funded by my Friend E, who “bought” the pledges of 60 comments.

The first new loan goes to Norma Danao, an industrious woman from the village of Bliss, Ilagan, Isabela in the Philippines. She is married to Mario, who discovered a new formula for home-made fertilizer.
Norma and her husband, have been manufacturing ‘foliar’ fertilizers for seven years already and their business is expanding rapidly. To meet the demands of their customers, she hopes to access a loan of US$650 as additional capital in purchasing different ingredients for the fertilizer.

We allocated a loan of $50 to her.

Other loans allocated today:

Philippines floods affect many of our microfinance entrepreneurs. Let’s give them an extra hand!

For updates on this post, check at the bottom:

October 21: Turning words into deed: I donate US$5 per comment on this post
October 22: 208 comments, US$1,040 raised in 24 hours
October 23: 400 comments, US$2,000 raised in 48 hours
October 24: 500 comments, US$2,500 raised. First new loans allocated
October 26: 587 comments, almost $3,000 raised. New loans allocated
October 27: 680 comments, almost $3,400 raised. New loans allocated
October 28: 1080 comments – 400 in the past 24h!
October 30: 1200 comments – 42 new loans allocated
***October 31: Official total: 1211 comments or US$6055!***
November 29: All loans area allocated

Leoncia Arellano in the Philippines

One of our entrepreneurs, Leoncia Arellano, lost her livelihood in the recent typhoons.

In the past weeks, two deadly storms struck the Philippines killing more than 700 people. The flooding disaster affected more than 7 million people. While the humanitarian efforts are in full gear trying to cope with the impact of this massive emergency, we should also keep in mind “the human face” of the storms. We should not forget what this actually means to each of the individual people affected by the typhoons, the mudslides, the excessive rainfalls.

Since we kicked off our microfinance project “Change Starts Here” a year ago on my personal blog, we made quite some microfinance loans to entrepreneurs in the Philippines. Unfortunately many of these people’s lives have been turned upside down by Typhoons Ketsana and Parma. One of them is Leoncia Arellano.

Leoncia, a mother of three, married to Benigno, lives in the island village in the town of Binangonan, Rizal province in the Philippines.

She has been very active member of ASHI, the local Kiva partner, and became the leader of their center in Binangonan. In July, she asked a loan of 45,000 pesos as additional capital for her fish pond. 29,500 pesos of her loan was used for her fish pond while the remaining amount will be spent on her secondary businesses: direct selling and tricycle (rickshaw) transportation. We have her a loan of US$25 three months ago.

Leoncia hoped to establish a strong, sound and profitable business so that she would be able to help her grandchildren with their school fees, and someday build a more durable and spacious house.

Unfortunately, this dream might not come true. Today, I received an update about Leoncia:

After the entrance of Typhoon Ondoy to the area of the Philippines which caused a big damage to a hundred thousand people, Kiva field partner ASHI visited all their members living in the place ravaged by Typhoon Ondoy. Some of them lost their houses because of flood, lost their means of living, and worst lost one or more member of their family.

If should see the situation with your own eyes… ASHI lends a helping hand in a little way like giving food which is what they really needed at this moment.

Leoncia Arellano’s family is one of those really affected by Typhoon Ondoy. Their fish pond, their main source of income, lays destroyed by the strong winds and big waves. In the past three months, Leoncia had used most of the loan in making this business more productive. Their boat, used to harvest fishes in the fish pond, is damaged by the strong current of the flood, so they don’t have anything to repair their fish pond and will surely need money to restructure the fish pond.

Their tricycle is also damaged by the flood and does not work anymore.

ASHI decided to suspend the repayment for every entrepreneur for two weeks and want to implement recovery loans so people can rebuild their lost means of living.

I left the following message for ASHI:

I am really sorry to hear how badly the people were affected by the storm.

Leoncia was one of the entrepreneurs we supported with our lenders team.

Through your update, I understand the delay in repayments, and would encourage ASHI to suspend the repayments for a longer period, and to appeal for new longer term loans so people have a chance to rebuild their livelihoods.

If there is anything we can do to help, please drop me an email via peter (at) theroadtothehorizon (dot) org, and I will be happy to help mobilizing the resources.

Thanks for this update, and thank you for caring!


October 21: To turn words into deeds:

For EVERY comment left on this blogpost, I will donate US$5 to microfinance entrepreneurs in the Philippines affected by the floods. One comment per person, deadline October 31.

If you want to give extra help, join our Kiva team and contribute directly to the Kiva projects yourself.

Update 22 Oct: 208 comments, US$1,040 raised in 24 hours

THANK YOU, everyone for your kind comments. I have to admit this initiative takes proportions I had not imagined. We are now just about 24 hours after I posted this message, and we have already 208 comments, equivalent of US$1,040.

10 new people joined our Kiva lenders team, and started allocating loans to the entrepreneurs in the Philippines directly. GREAT!

In the mean time, I have some sponsors lined up to make sure I don’t go broke on the pledge of allocating $5 per comment left on this post. :-)

Keep on spreading the message. Keep on pointing people to this fundraising post. It is important people discover Kiva, discover what they can contribute to make this world a better place, find out that by allocating a loan to someone, they enable that person to embetter their lives THEMSELVES.

And from a purely selfish point of view, remember that Kiva loans are… LOANS. Once they are paid back, you can either re-invest or retract your funds. (which makes it a safer investment of your money than what some banks offer, if you ask me) ;-)

Keep it coming, team! Keep on spreading the message to your friends, family, colleagues via Email, Twitter, Facebook or your blog,…

May I ask one favour? If you leave a comment, also note the city and country you live in. It gives readers a good impression where the help comes from. Readers will see there are people with a good heart in all parts of the world.– Thanks.

Update 23 Oct: 400 comments, US$2,000 raised in 48 hours

The comments keep on coming. Here is an overview of the progress of our project after 48 hours:

  • We just passed the 400 comments mark, which means we raised US$2,000 so far.
  • Several people stepped up to the mark. My Friend E vowed to “buy” 60 comments for US$300, to help us fund this effort. Diane, one of our new Kiva lenders team proposed to assist by allocating new loans to our project. My mum also stepped up and vowed some cash to “buy some comments”. That is great, and part of the intension I had with this fundraising project: start a bit of a snowball effect so others will step up and follow.
  • More than 20 new people joined our Kiva lenders team.
  • The 57 members of our Kiva lenders team allocated over US$1,000 in over 30 new loans in the past 48 hours.
  • I am trying to keep up with the progress on our project scorecard.

I am reading every comment you kind people leave. I can not reply or thank each of you individually, but will try to answer some of the questions that have been asked:

  • Q: You donate $5 per comment left on this blogpost. Is this a hoax?
    A: Nope it is not. I will continue to report on the loans allocated. We’re running this fundraiser until Oct 31. I will start allocating loans in the next days already (as the people need funds NOW), and allocate new loans until the balance of the $-value ((comments vs. loans)) is zero.
  • Q: you say you have lined up sponsors, who are they?
    A: Blogging is my main hobby, and I run a large number of blogs (check the list). On some of these blogs, I run ads, for which people pay me. Not much, but enough to refund the cost of hosting these blogs, the picture libraries etc.. When my advertisement revenue is more than my cost, I invest it in our Kiva projects. Apart from that, as I described above: some individuals also stepped up to help me fund this. The rest, I fund from my pocket..
  • Q: What is your goal with this action?
    A: I am convinced that “good” rolls off. I kicked this off as a personal initiative hoping people will think about this particular natural disaster, about the people involved, pick up on the initiative and step up. While doing so, I hoped (which turned out to work) we can create some momentum to bring more “good” in the world.

Meanwhile, I am dreaming: Who knows maybe the Kiva and the microfinance community would be able to take similar actions our entrepreneurs in an area hit by a natural disaster. Very often these people live ‘on the edge': using microfinance loans they are able to start a humble business, or invest in an existing business, but we need to continue to realize these are small business owners. If something like a flood, drought, earthquake, political turmoil and violence or in this case, a typhoon, hits them, they loose enough to put them back at ground-zero. At that point, they have the knowledge, experience and will to start all over again, but often lack the capital. And that is where we step in, the microfinance lenders..

So maybe I am just dreaming, but I wish we would institutionalize helping entrepreneurs to re-start when they are pushed over the edge.

Please keep on spreading the link to this post. Our appeal for comments runs until October 31st. Get active on forums, blog about this initiative, put it out on Twitter, Facebook and any other media you have.

Update 24 Oct: 500 comments, US$2,500 raised. First new loans allocated

We are now in the third day of our fundraiser, and received 500 comments already. Time to start allocating loans to the entrepreneurs in the Philippines. our first batch of loans is worth $300, and sponsored by a Friend.

Someone -rightfully- mentioned by Email that not only the Philippines were affected by the recent typhoons, but also Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Kiva is not active in Laos, but we will include loans to entrepreneurs in Cambodia and Vietnam in this project.

Update 26 Oct: 587 comments, almost $3,000 raised. New loans allocated

Diane, one of our Kiva Lenders’ team, stepped forward and helped me out. She already allocated 20 loans for a total of $500 for this project.
I allocated another $100 loans (20 comments “bought” by my friend Elizabeth).

A sincere thanks to both of you! This brings the total of allocated loans to $900.
Please keep on spreading the message!

Update 27 Oct: 680 comments, almost $3,400 raised. New loans allocated

Apart from fundraising, we continue to allocate new loans to entrepreneurs in the Philippines who will use the funds to revive and expand their livelihood.

Diane, one of our Kiva Lenders’ team, already allocated 25 loans for a total of $625 for this project. She committed to “buy” up to 200 comments of this post.

Elizabeth, a colleague and friend, who is also member of our Kiva team, donated $100, and as such “bought” 20 comments. Her loans are allocated in this update. In the same update, I donated $300, buying 60 comments, for 6 loans.

Our Philippines project has now allocated $1,325 already.

What is really nice to see is that more and more people start to comment this is the first time they heard about Kiva, or read or are getting involved in microfinancing. And that is exactly -apart from fundraising- what we had in mind: spread the word, mobilize people, activate their awareness of the effects and impact microfinancing has!

Update 28 Oct: 400 comments in the past 24h brings the total to 1080!

Wow! Only in the past 24 hours, we received over 400 comments, bringing the total at this moment to 1,080 comments, or US$5,400. This surpassed my wish for 1,000 comments… And we still have 3 days to go before the October 31st deadline (and that is October 31 midnight European time).

It is great to see that much activity, to hear a lot of encouragement, and compassion for the people who lost a lot due to the typhoons in the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. And it might not be the end of their misery: the fourth typhoon in less than a month is on its way to Luzon. A new typhoon could put the relief efforts in jeopardy, and endanger the lives of millions again.

On a more positive note, I thank fellow bloggers who published about our post. Quite a few people have been active on Twitter too. Kiva spread the news about our fundraiser on their blog, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Thank you everyone! It is nice see so much support. Maybe, maybe, my wish will come true, and we will see the microfinancing community step forward more actively in cases like the Philippines: cases where natural disasters other calamities took away the livelihood of people. Cases where we need to step up and give others an opportunity to start again.

Meanwhile, we have been dispersing new loans to the Philippines. We now stand at US$1,875 loans allocated since we started the “Typhoon Project”. In addition, members of our Kiva lenders team issued almost $1,000 new loans in the past week alone…

Update 30 Oct: Issued 42 new loans to the Philippines

While we stand at 1,200 comments (or US$6,000), I issued 42 new loans to entrepreneurs in the Philippines. This brings the total of actually issued microfinance loans in this project to a total of $3,300.

One more day to go on our fundraiser, before the deadline of Oct 31 (midnight EU time).

Update 31 Oct: Comments closed at total of 1211!

It is midnight October 31st in Europe. This fundraiser is now closed. The net results stand at 1211 valid comments (subtracting the double entries and my own comments). 1211 comments=US$6055 raised!!. This is way beyond what I had planned or believed could be possible.

Update 29 Nov: All loans are allocated!

Over the past month, I allocated the remaining $1,825 to this project. Friends from The Road’s lending team contributed another US$730, bringing the total of new loans after the typhoons to US$6,055. This matches the total amount we raised through the comments on this post.

Here is the overview of the loans:

My contribution 3,750
Donation by E 300
Donation by Diana 1,000
Donation by Liz 100
The Road’s team 905
total: 6,055

Thank you all !

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