Letters from Kosovo
Weekly Statement No. 135/136

The time has come when we will soon be completing our first phase of Grameen replication program in Kosovo. Looking back, one can see how our three-year project starting from the year 2000, was implemented in two phases. The first year from May 2000 to June 2001, was devoted to starting up the program and the opening of two branches in Peje and Prishtina. The second half from July 2001 to May 2003, For opening of two more branches in Prizren and Gjilan, where we also took on two new managers. The problems that we faced then to establish the replication of Grameen bank in Kosovo was very different from what we are facing now.
It was through Grameen Trust's help that we made a beginning under very difficult circumstances. However, at this point, the survival of the Project is very much dependant on the smooth continuation of the work that has already gained momentum.

Presently, we are working on increasing the interest rate and gradually trying to hand over the Project to our local colleagues. In Peje branch, the process of handing over has already started, where our local colleague, who was an accountant before, has new become the associate branch manager. Our present branch manager Mr. Abul Hossain will be in charge of the branch in Peje to help the new associate manager. He is doing well and has already started disbursing loans. We are excited and extremely happy to see this transition.

The good news remains that we are constantly getting a positive response from villages that we still haven't penetrated. People are coming to us from new villages and municipalities for extention of microcredit. Gjilan Branch has started to work in a new municipality this month. Peje, Prishtina and Prizren are a bit slow this month, but all other fieldwork is going well.

However the recent robbery of our collection money in Glogovs under Prishtina Branch still hasn't been solved and the police haven't been able to trace or detect those who committed the theft.

Project Director
Kosovo Grameen-Missione Arcobaleno Microcredit Fund (KGMAMF)
Project Office, 154, Marshall Tito Road No. 122, Peje. Kosovo
May 12, 2003

Another Road Map for the Middle East

I am considering starting up a small microcredit institution in the Middle East in early June and am wondering whether you have any information you can send me about how to go about doing so. I have over 20 years' experience in commercial banking in the United States and a few years' experience in development banking in a Pacific Rim country, but know too little about how you have achieved so much success with your microcredit program(s).

Ms. Ellen R. Sheeley
San Francisco, California 94108, USA
April 24, 2003

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Curious About Microcredit in Niger
Hi, my name is Yoshihito Kawakami. I am now working in Niger as community development facilitator as a member of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV)).

I just wanted to know if there is a micro credit program or any organization in Niger. If you send me any information about microcredit program in Niger, I would really appreciate it.

I just finished reading autobiography of Prof Yunus today. I was really moved. I can say it was one of the best books I ever read in my life.

Yoshihito Kawakami
May 10, 2003

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Recovery from Chaos
Please note I've been following your organization through internet for some time, as I'm interested in the possibility of setting it up in the province of Santa Fe.

Some weeks ago I contacted the first Grameen Bank in Argentina in the Mendoza area and they gave me some material on how they started it all and how it basically works. Right now, as you may have seen in some international media, Santa Fe has undergone the worst flooding ever with around 60.000 evacuated people and material losses still not completely identified. This means a chaotic situation in a city already badly hit by poverty and lack of jobs. So, I would like to receive more concrete information in terms of what are your exact requirements for setting up a new bank in Argentina, or if it may be useful for me to visit the organization in Mendoza? I don't know the minimum capital requirement, staffing needs, what kind of training you provide for the people accessing a loan?

Cecilia Bonello
Santa Fe; Argentina
May 3, 2003

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Iraqi Reconstruction
I work as a parliamentary researcher to Barry Gardiner, a member of parliament in the UK. Mr. Gardiner has been working with Iraqi groups based in the UK to draw up their plans for reconstruction in Iraq. As part of his work with the group Mr. Gardiner has also urged the British government to support micro-credit organisations in the UK. Mr. Gardiner has a background in finance and is therefore keen to use his experience in any reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

I am gathering more information from Mr. Gardiner on financial reconstruction and wanted to check whether either the Grameen Bank, or any other similar organisations planned to help in efforts in Iraq? I would be grateful for any information you are able to provide.

Joe Perry
Parliamentary Researcher to Barry Gardiner MP

House of Commons, London SW1A
April 22, 2003

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A Concert for Grameen
This is to request the honor of using the name "Grameen Bank" in the dedication line of a new work of music composed to honor it. This is the 4th composition of this nature commissioned. The piece will be playable by any capable young band and has been commissioned by the DeWitt Perry Middle School Band of Carrollton, Texas. The aim of the project is to raise the awareness of middle school aged students about organizations that work to improve the quality of life for impoverished people. The composer of the piece is Mr. Fred Allen, the Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas. The piece is scheduled to be premiered on May 22nd at the Perry Band Spring Concert. We would also like to project a power point presentation during its performance and would greatly appreciate any digital pictures you might be able to provide. The dedication line would read: Commissioned in honor of Grameen Bank by the DeWitt Perry Bands, 2002-3. Paul Schmidt, Director.

Paul Schmidt and the Perry Band Council
Texas, USA.
April 2, 2003

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Working to Reach the Poorest
I´m working in Fundación Grameen (Aldeas) Argentina, in a branch in the city of Córdoba. I have in my mind your concern that in Latin America we didn´t reach in many places the poorest people with microcredit., that we´re working with the not so poor.

I observe it here in Argentina, and believe me that we´re making real efforts to avoid it in our young branch in Córdoba. I´ve read about tools to focus on the poorest and we´re trying to adapt those ideas to our context. I think it´s clear that the priority are the poorest. Once that's working we can change institutions at other levels, step by step. Any advice or information to guide our actions in this way would be very valuable.

Federico Cena
Córdoba, Argentina
May 20, 2003

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From Our Website Guest Book
Thank you for visiting our webpages. We would love it, if you would add to this guest book.

love your work, and I found that people from my country, Argentina, are interested too. That makes me feel something between happiness, consciousness and hope. I was trying to find a way to make my help useful long time ago but I didn't know how. This is just a start.

What I'm just trying to do is to get in touch with you and these people to see what we can do. I'm getting involved with the future of my country, thats all. Thanks!

Victoria Ovin
Mon, 26 May 2003 15:26:28

I am a Ph d Student at Cardiff University, with specializing in Internet banking consumer behaviour.

But since last year I realized that I can only find satisfaction in the development work. so I have decided not to go for any high tech, highly paid, or high class job in the banking sector. Rather, Insha Allah I have planned to open a micro credit bank in the poorest area of Pakistan (Balochistan ) where I come from.

I would be in touch with you after i finish my doctorate Insha Allah next year. I might come to Bangladesh for a formal training, so that before starting I am fully equipped with the knowledge of micro credit financing.

Shumaila Y. Yousafzai
Cardiff Business School Wales, UK
Thu, 22 May 2003 15:13:56

Thank you so much for what you have introduced into the world.

I work with women in workshops and in personal coaching sessions. I work with women in the California Bay area as well as in Seattle, Washington, Boise, Idaho and Salt Lake City, Utah. I am very interested in being a part of projects such as those of the Grameen Banks here in the United States.

Is there any projects currently or ones being considered? If not, what would it take to be part of the team to make it happen?

Sharon Riegie Maynard
Tue, 13 May 2003

Hi my name is Carlos and I think the Grameen Bank is doing wonderful work in third world countries. I would like to know if you can send me newsletters, pamphlets, and info to my address to inform others about the work of Grameen Bank in my school and my community.

Ontario, Canada -Tue, 6 May 2003

I read your book and loved it! I am an undergraduate student at George Washington University studying International Relations in Developing Countries.
I am very interested in interning with your organization in anyway I can. My career goal is to work with developing nations to assist them with a better quality of life. My family and I currently operate a tennis academy in New York which provides affordable tennis instruction for people of all ages. We work with school district social workers and offer scholarships to underprivileged children. It is a very rewarding experience for all of us and help me determine my career destiny.

I look forward to hearing from you and to working with Grameen Bank, in any way I can.

Rob Romanzi
Tue, 10 Jun 2003

My name is Felipe and I am "credit curious". After the conclusion of my MBA with a thesis about credit, I continued researching on it. At that time, I read your biography, and I thought it was really fantastic. Today, here in Brazil, we are discussing a lot about microcredit as part of the "Fome Zero" (Zero Hungry) Program, in order to help the Brazilian people to have a better life. To help on the development of a great microcredit program I think I should know more deeply about the philosophy of microcredit. And, there is no better place in the world than Grameen. Seeing how Grameen works, will help a lot in my research. So, I would request, if I could visit you. Let me know, if its possible.

Luiz Felipe Filho
São Paulo - Brazil, Mon, 16 Jun 2003

It is nice to see an organisation fostering community spirit in a practical way that really can help the needy in a sustainable way. Your values seem to reflect the basic teachings of God in whatever form man has interpreted eg, Christian, Jew, Muslim etc. The basic respect for one another no matter what and the opportunity for redemption in GGS is commendable. Well Done.

O. Cavanough
Melbourne , Australia
June 22, 2003

Hello, I have heard Mr.Yunus on a San Francisco radio talking about what he did creating Grameen, and highlighting the need to create new concepts to help social world problems. I have been working for years in the hi-tech industry with all type of experiences and in-depth educations that I feel a deep frustration not being able to bring to a more useful purpose than playing with the American stock market. Hi-tech is useless without a social purpose. I want to help. I heard Mr. Yunus talk about his "aladdin light" idea and social enterpreneurship. I would like to know how he wants to push those ideas and participate in their blossoming if I can help; in particular, would you be interested in helping fund such developments or defining a ground for their developments ? Could you please let me know where to look for further information or who to contact? Thanks a lot.

Olivier Lallier
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San Francisco, ca USA
Tue Apr 22 2003 17:16:53


 Editor : Muhammad
Executive Editor : Khalid Shams 
Editorial Assistance :
Nazneen Sultana
Lamiya Morshed 
Editorial Advisory Board: Argentina : Pablo Broder, Buenos Aires     Australia : Shan Ali, Sydney     Chile : Benardo Javalquinto, Santiago     Colombia : Mauricio Fernandez, Bogota     France : Maria Nowak, Paris     Germany : Nancy Wimmer, Munich     Malaysia : David S. Gibbons, Kuala Lumpur     Philippines : Dr. Cecilia D. Del Castillo, Bacolod City     USA : Alexander Counts, Washington DC
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