From the Office of the President

By Prem Thomas, KF9, Philippines

After spending over three months in Manila working in the Center for Community Transformation Credit Cooperative’s (CCT) head office, I thought it would be interesting for the Kiva family to hear from CCT’s President and Founder Ruth Callanta and meet my coworkers. Ate Ruth, as she is called by her coworkers (Ate, pronounced “ah-TEH”, is a Tagalog term of respect meaning older sister), is very passionate about her work and respected and loved by the CCT community for her vision and dedication.


If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, here is a table of contents of the questions:

  1. 00:00 – Why did you start CCT?
  2. 01:22 – Why is CCT a cooperative?
  3. 02:22 – Why is microfinance important to CCT?
  4. 03:25 – Why did you want to partner with Kiva?
  5. 04:58 – Do you have a message for the Kiva lenders?
  6. 05:56 – What else does CCT do?
  7. 08:32 – What kind of impact does your work with the homeless have compared to microfinance?
  8. 10:44 – What is your 5-year plan for CCT?
  9. 13:25 – Do you have anything else to say to the Kiva community?

Ate Ruth previously sat on the Board of World Vision International, the global arm of an international relief and development organization, and was one of the founders of Alliance of Philippine Partners in Enterprise Development (APPEND) a microfinance network in the Philippines. After a career in the development world, She founded CCT in 1992 and has grown the organization to five ministries (groups) providing credit, education, healthcare and clean water to urban and rural communities throughout the Philippines. Ate Ruth now manages 145 branches, 70,000 active borrowers and over 540 employees throughout the Philippines.

Of the 540 employees, about 90 work in the head office and they wanted to say hello to the Kiva community:


For all the current and former Kiva Fellows, Ate Ruth also had a message for you guys:


It really has been great pleasure working here at CCT and I am sad to be leaving Manila at the end of the week. I have become good friends with many of the staff and feel like part of the CCT family. I want to thank them all for being so helpful and hospitable during my fellowship and I will miss them all.

Prem Thomas is serving as a Kiva Fellow working with the Center for Community Transformation Credit Cooperative (CCT) in Manila, Philippines.

If you would like to hear more from Ate Ruth’s team, join CCT’s lending team here for great content updates.


About the author

Prem Thomas