By Elena Kuehn, KF 11, Viet nam
Viet nam is a country bursting of energy, activity and a continuous striving of the people to improve their living standards and enable their children to lead a better life. To achieve this people are willing to work incredibly hard. That makes Vietnam a great place for microfinance activities. And not only are the people ready to take on hard work, there is also a financial growth that rewards the effort. In this atmosphere of growth microfinance provides poor families in this country with the means to participate in this growth.'
I have started my Kiva Fellowship 3 weeks ago and have already visited 3 of the Kiva field partners and many Kiva borrowers. What impressed me most when talking to the people and discussing their living situation, the loan impact and their future hopes is the fact that they constantly point towards their children and grandchildren. When I ask how the loan has improved their lives, I hear stories about how they were able to send their children to school for longer and provide them with better means to be successful in life.
The Vietnamese family plan foresees only 2 children for each couple, people with more children face a fee that can be a great burden to poor families. So many people comply with this rule. This makes the focus, and, I imagine, also the pressure on the young generation even higher. But with providing their children with a good education a family in Vietnam actually has a very realistic chance to lift themselves from the very bottom of society into a middle class position.