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A willing Intern 
I received an e-mail from Ms. Tanweena Chowdhury giving me useful information about internship programs in the Grameen Trust. I am really interested in applying for internship with the Trust between April and May. I'd like to participate in the day to day work of the Grameen Trust on an urban livelihood project or capital building assistance program in Asia. Alternatively, I could work on my research on microfinance. I am a French student in a university in Bordeaux. I am studying for two years and participating in the Development and Humanitarian Aid Management course.

I am really interested in the livelihood program and capital building assistance or anything relating to microfinance. I feel that it would enrich my professional experience and it would give me another venue for learning and growth. I had already some experience in similar program in Manila, Philippines.


A willing Intern 

Italian Involvement   

Grameen Bank Kyrgyzstan!  

Joining the Fight 

Ideas That Agitate!  

Helping to Explain   

Clair Olivier 
101cours de l'Yser, 
33 800 Bordeaux 
Tel: 05 56 94 5424 
E-mail :  
33 800 Bordeaux 

Italian Involvement 
After reading your book, Vers un monde sans pauvrete, I felt moved. I admired your way to reach your target group with courage and your effort to create a production activity to help poor people.

I myself have been around the world; in India, too. I admired the beauty of the landscape, the solemnity of the temples, how alive and nice are the people and how sweet the children! I was impressed by the big contrast between very few rich people and so many poor people. In Italy, too, specially in the south of the country, there are many poor people.

I am from Salerno, in southern Italy, not far from Naples where I have been living for 50 years. During the second world war I was a pilot and at the end of the war, I became a contractor. The results of my work are quite satisfactory, but I often feel sad because of my desire to help the poor people who need jobs. In Naples too, there are thousands of young people who have no jobs.

Our government is strongly committed to help the poor and the unemployed. But there is little success so far because of the bureaucracy.

There are many problems for those who want to start working on their own and the banks don't support and help the poor and unemployed. Existing rules don't help the individual who could start working on his or her own thanks to the talent and good will that each person posses.

We all should help these people form the beginning, by giving them the money they need to start their business activity.

Let's fund a Grameen Bank in Naples too.

I am ready to get involved in such a plan concerning south Italy.

I am not, the only one; there are many others who could join me. I hope that you will help me in this project to fund a Bank Grameen for poor people, here in Naples.

De Martino Luigi
Via G. Jannelli, 218 
80131 Napoli (ITALIA)
Tel. 081/546.20.42
December 4, 1998

Grameen Bank Kyrgyzstan! 
Greetings form Kyrgyzstan!
I would like to thank you for the support and technical assistance to Kyrgyzayltrust. We were pleased to have Mr. Abdul Kashem from Grameen Bank with us in Kyrgyzstan because we are now assessing the project results of the last two years. His visit was indeed very useful. There were recommendations as well as consultations on relevant issues. We conducted a workshop on the theme: Grameen Bank in Kyrgyzstan: experience in implementation during 1996-1998. There was an active dialogue between government and non-government organizations on replication of GB system of microcredit in Kyrgyzstan, summarizing the experience of KAT project. Many in civil society have now begun to understand the importance of GB microcredit program in our country : that gives us an opportunity to create on the basis of this project a new financial company called Grameen Bank-Kyrgyzstan. Now KAT is going to receive a license from the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan and will be registered as a banking institution. We are also now taking steps to ease the tax regulations for poor people. We hope that our experience of implementation of GB philosophy and system in Kyrgyzstan will be even more successful in the future and bring essential results to strengthen the financial support by Grameen Trust. We need funds from GT to ensure a more humanistic essence of GB. And it is helpful to us, clearly demonstrating the example for replication of GB system in Central Asia and Russia.  

Professor Rahat Achylova
Chairman of WID 
Kyrgyz Republic Moskovskaya 53, Bishkek
Tel : 3312 22 7847
Fax : 3312 22 6035
E-mail :  
December 21, 1998

Joining the Fight   
I'm an Associate Professor in Agricultural Development Economics at the College of Agriculture, The University of Florence, Italy. I'm writing because in the bachelor program on Tropical Agriculture at University of Florence, one of the favourite topics of my students is the so called new credit policy, rooted in the Grameen Bank experience. My students are amazed, as I am, about what you and your collaborators have done in the last twenty years or so.
Therefore, it is straightforward for some of them to ask me to contact you in order to explore the possibility to get involved in any of your activities, as part of the field training, in partial fulfillment of their own degree requirement. So, please, let me know if it is possible for some students of mine to be hosted by you. Of course, they have agreed to serve in one of your organizations according to your needs; all they want is to be in touch with you and to have the opportunity of being part of one of your projects in order to acquire some expertise, feeling at the same time that they are working effectively in fighting against poverty.

The average student is a third or fourth year bachelor student (with basic background in agronomy, animal husbandry, economics and management). The standard period of fieldwork could range between 3-8 months, according to the task assigned to them.
Please, let me know if this kind of arrangement fits with your own activities.  

Donato Romano, 
Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural
and Forest Economics,
University of Florence
p.le delle Cascine, 18
I-50144 - FIRENZE (Italy)
Tel: +39+0553288244
Fax: fax +39+055359870
January 9, 1999.
Ideas That Agitate! 
I have a big idea about initiating a microcredit project in my country. Why is this idea great for me?

I'm a woman who has the chance to get a good position in a company living in a poor country? I had the chance to have a university degree and receive training in foreign countries. Therefore, I feel I have certain responsibilities with my own society.

I don't believe that charity helps our social problem. It is too great at present. We do not have any local policy, nor any international organisation to help people.

I'm a hard working woman. I believe in my capacity to lead a team. I am as much open-minded as I can be.

I have friends and relatives in this country whom I can trust. I can convince them to work.

But I'm not an economist. I have a degree in chemistry with a background in enterprise management and organisation.

I'm concerned for not being astute. I cannot be manipulated by politicians. I don't have any capital.

My country, Argentina, is not Bangladesh. How can this cultural differences permit me to launch a microcredit project. Buenos Aires City and its surroundings is more or less like USA. Poverty here means marginalization. People here tend to feel that they are out of the system and their only recourse is to crime. But what about the rest of the country? It is really a different country. There poverty has more dignity, so it could be closer to Bangladesh.

To be honest, I don't know Bangladesh. I learnt about it only through the media. These comments represent the ideas that agitate my mind.

Therefore, I would appreciate if you could either support my idea or contradict it. Do you believe this idea would be feasible here? If it is so: How can I start?  

Elvira Zini 
Billinghurst 2248 9no. "A"
T1425 - Buenes Aires
January 31, 1999.
Helping to Explain 
In response to your request when you visited Japan last October, I am now sending my undergraduate thesis on the Grameen Bank, titled Human Development of Women in the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh - shedding lights on the last colony, women in developing countries. I am very sorry for the delay in sending this document, because I was in Zimbabwe end of last year for field research on saving clubs there.

Although, the thesis is written in Japanese, it will be great pleasure if it could help Japanese people visiting the Grameen Bank in explaining its contribution to empowerment of women in Bangladesh.

I read that Grameen Bank is faced with a financial difficulty after the big flood last year and has requested the World Bank for assistance. I wish that the Grameen Bank could overcome this hard time and continue to assist poor people in Bangladesh.

Haruko Awano
Doctral Candidate
Kobe University
58-38 Terayama Hirono-cho
Uji Cily, Kyoto 611 0031 Japan
Tel & Fax : 81-774-44-6695
E-mail: [email protected] 
February 3, 1999.