It is the last day at HKL today and I’m heading back to my country-Japan. So I am reviewing what I did in Cambodia. Maybe my contribution is a little different from other fellows due to different background-I’m from Asia.
The reason I became Kiva fellow is to learn Kiva and micro finance and then try to localize Kiva since language barrier is very high for Japanese people unfortunately. Many of my friends don’t loan even if they are interested in Kiva.
Let me note how I reached Kiva. I had a experience to stay in Cambodia 10 years ago. one day, I and my friends went to the Mekong River to see the sunset. But I had some trouble with them at that day and I sat down river side alone.
When I lonely watched the sunset, some local children came near me and found me crying. And then one firl without one arm wiped my tear. At that time there were some children whose parents made them disabled on purpuse in order them to beg money as well as many land mine victims, I heard.
I decided to do something for Cambodian in some ways since she comported my spirit. But I found many of Cambodians got used to receive something by developed countries at the same time. Therefore, I thought they needed something helpful to their independent efforts. That’s why I have been interested in micro finance but unfortunately there was no chance to learn it in Japan.
I didn’t tell my interest to others for long time due to some critical trend for charity and volunteer as hypocrisy. Through I change little by little through charity activities for an orphanage in Philippine with my friends. When I started to tell my friends my interest to micro finance, one of them told me she watched some TV program about a unique NPO in USA. That’s Kiva. I couldn’t reach Kiva if I yet hesitated to talk about my interest, and if I didn’t keep the charity activities. I soon started to think to sell Kiva to Japanese as I have some kinds of confidence I can do it due to my charity experience and network.
So far, I keep a Kiva fellow blog in Japanese as well as in English to introduce Kiva fellow’s activities. Moreover, I have joined a Kiva fan’s community in Japanese SNS. And then, fortunately I have found some camps who are willing to start up ‘Kiva Japan Project’ – a small group to aim at starting up Japanese version of Kiva. We sometimes have meetings by Skype and one day some of them showed me a demo site of Japanese version. I, by myself, am so surprised at this movement! I have never imagined my idea would be real in such a short time. I know we have a lot of issue to try from now. But it’s important keep taking action even though we don’t have enough resource and knowledge. And then we eventually find good chance or somebody’s help. I’m excited to forge ahead the project now.
I have learned never-give-up spirit through fellowship. Actually my life here was not so easy as well. I often felt sick and got cheated. Some experience made me very depressed and unhappy as I post last fellow journal. But I knew even terrible experience is necessary to test myself. Good and bad experience made me think what is my real goal and how much passion I have.
In order to achieve something, I need to overcome some conflict between the ideal and the real. But I believe every experience in Cambodia will open up my future.
I’d like to say special thanks to Kiva and Hatta Kaksekar Limited(HKL). I’m so happy to work as Kiva fellow at the wonderful MFI! I extended my fellowship for 1 week because I found the most favorite time in Cambodia is not visiting some famous places but talking, joking and laughing with HKL staffs.I cannot explain how much I love HKL! There is a full of joy, warmness and happiness.
I hope the more and more Japanese become a part of Kiva and become Kiva fellow in the future.
In the field, I always asked borrowers ‘What’s your dream?’
So, this time, I answer the same question, ‘It’s to connect more friends in the world and help each other.’
This is my last Kiva fellow blog. Thank you very much for reading!