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Projects Abroad starts new Microfinance Project in Cambodia

Following on from their positive experience at the Projects Abroad Microfinance Project in Senegal, volunteers Helge and Kina have been instrumental in founding an exciting new microfinance initiative in conjunction with Khemara, a well-established NGO in Cambodia.

Helge and Kina volunteered in Senegal in November 2012 and were some of the first individuals at the placement. The Senegalese Microfinance Project involves loans being distributed to young street boys (known as Talibés) who work with Projects Abroad to acquire necessary business acumen, generate business ideas and then start and grow their own businesses to the point where they earn enough profit to pay back the loan. This model has proved extremely successful and Projects Abroad has been instrumental in funding 40 businesses in the last two years.

Volunteers discuss the potential to open a new micro-finance initiative with Khemara Following on from this, Helge and Kina have used their experience in Senegal to help establish a similar project in Cambodia, in partnership with Khemara. Khemara is a respected NGO involved in a variety of activities, including running ten childcare centers, assisting families impacted by HIV Aids, providing education for women and enforcing programs which deal with child protection and justice.

Projects Abroad and Khemara have a long-standing relationship which has benefitted multiple local Cambodian communities. The Microfinance Project will be a further extension of this positive relationship between the two organizations.

Khemara already has a list of potential beneficiaries in place whose lives could be changed dramatically by the opportunity to build their own sustainable businesses. In order for the project to be a success, however, volunteers must first be recruited to work alongside local staff to teach prospective business owners basic accounting and company development skills.

Helge explained, “We believe that when the local Projects Abroad Microfinance Coordinator and the first volunteers are ready to go, it will only take a few months to create 10 to 15 businesses. As Khemara has a very close relationship with the potential beneficiaries there may well be 40 projects after the first year!”

If you have some business or management skills and are interested in getting involved we’d love to hear from you. 

Learn more about the Microfinance Project in Cambodia here.

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