What have I learned about the nonprofit world?  It’s complicated.  Not the hard to solve kind but rather the kind that consumes a half-century before a dent is made.

The above scene has been painted many times before.  And those looking to help often become discouraged when data starts pouring in.  However, each small action collectively creates that dent a half-century later.  And that dent is the worst case scenario implying plenty of upside potential to accomplish more.

As one contributor to the dent, microfinance assists those living on the margin of society.  Another group focusing on similar efforts is White Cloud Restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam.  A quaint restaurant with consistently delicious set menus, one is always greeted with a smile.  What few realize, however, is that the workers (all female) have all suffered from severe family issues and/or domestic violence.  After coming together for strength, cooking became a way to lighten the burden and start anew.  With a little help, the women opened White Cloud as a way for reaching self-sufficiency.

Your friendly hostesses, waitresses, and cooks at White Cloud Restaurant

So why bring this up on the Kiva blog?  The amazing achievement of this small group deserves mentioning.  In addition, I introduced the women to microfinance and am hopeful that they will qualify for a loan.  You never know who you may meet next if you don’t try.  So go ahead and take that first step to do what feels right.  Someone around the corner is bound to need a hand.

If you find yourself in Hanoi, stop by White Cloud to try my favorite egg rolls in town (they’re vegan too)!  Otherwise click here to lend to a Kiva entrepreneur!

Alex Duong is the first Kiva Fellow (KF9) working with TYM Fund in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Interested in becoming a Kiva fellow?  Click here.
Join the Vietnam lending team here.

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