Monday, November 3, 2008

Heng Sophea in Cambodia

(see above)
This proposal is for a Mrs. Heng Sophea, who is 41 years old who lives in the Andoung Samrith Village in Takeo Province of Cambodia. Mrs. Sophea supports her husband and four children with a rice crop that she is currently unable to harvest because she needs someone to help plow the field. Her husband assists her with her crop, while her oldest child drives a car to produce a supplemental income. Two of her children are currently attending a local school. She is asking for a small loan of $500 to hire a worker that will help her plow her rice crop. The money would be used to pay for the worker; while the remaining money would be used to buy fertilizer and pesticides to aid in the resilience of the crop.

To loan money to this women would benefit her whole family. She will be able to provide more for her family by yielding a crop that they can live off and sell to make profit. This small investment can give a family a chance to gain a higher income and become a larger contributor to the economy of Cambodia. Even though crops are very temperamental and depend on the climate, the addition of fertilizer and pesticides will greatly reduce the risk of crop loss. Cambodia has a GDP per Capita of $1,900 (CIA World Fact Book), where 31% of total GDP is in the agricultural sector, comprising of 75% of the labor force. This shows that agriculture is a way that most people try to make their incomes from. However, it may not produce a large enough income. Micro loans make it possible to loan small amounts to families that otherwise would be too risky, but with the help of these small loans, that have a high success rate, they can achieve the dreams that banks tell them that it is impossible. The borrowers from Kiva have been screened and have the assistance of groups of other borrowers that give support to each other.

Borrowers also learn the ability to save money for those unfortunate incidents. It is very important to lend just a few dollars to these people, who have nowhere else to turn to make their dreams come true.

--Jessica Maurer

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