Letters from Kosovo
On my return from Bangladesh, a daylong staff review meeting was held on 8th July, at the project office in Peje. Grameen Kosovo, which since 2000 was following the Grameen Classical System, will now begin introducing some of the new features of Grameen Bank II Model. Borrowers will be allowed to pay back the loan, according to a repayment schedule, which will suit their convenience and the Group Fund will now be divided up to create individual savings accounts. New products, such as 3 and 6-month loans, will also be introduced.

The recent robbery attempt at the Prishtina branch caused much concern amongst the staff and we are trying to enforce a more reliable security system to prevent another such mishap.

On 9th of July, a two-member team of the Banking and Payment Authority of Kosovo, performed a routine inspection of Grameen Kosovo. Supervision. The team were satisfied with the overall operation of the project.

The Project staff is currently striving to attain sustainability which in June, was measured at 65%. Various cost-cutting measures were taken, which have significantly reduced the project’s overall expenses. For future expansion projects, we are trying to access commercial funding and currently we are discussing our business plan with various commercial banks that lend to MFIs.

Particulars Peje Branch Prishtina Branch Prizren Branch Gjilan Branch
No. of Branches 1 1 1 1
No. of Groups 279 337 214 208
Total Outreach 1,718 2,074 1,487 1,375
Total Loan Disbursements (Euros) 3,149,950 4,772,140 1,751,492 1,770,042
Loan Outstanding (Euros) 749,301 900,590 420,416 393,660
Repayment Rate 88% 100% 100% 100%
Total Savings (Euros) 67,731 99,162 44,664 49,324
Operational Sustainability 167.40% 330.16% 191% 206%

To further increase the management skills, efficiency and productivity, staff development programs have been arranged for field workers, accountants and managers of all the branches in August and September. Our goal is to turn Grameen Kosovo into a self-sustaining organization that caters to the needs of the poor people in Kosovo and help alleviate poverty. Gradually, we hope to succeed in reaching our goal.

Abdul Hai Khan
Project Director
Grameen Kosovo
Email : [email protected]

Initiatives in Costa Rica

My wife and I have been making small loans and grants here on the east coast of Costa Rica. The need for a Grameen type microcredit program here is strong. We intend to start a fund, seeded with $1,000 for 5-10 loans. So far men are the initial candidates, as women tend to stay in the background and therefore they need to be reached out.

There are also trust barriers to overcome, as we are white or “gringo” in an area where it is not very popular, though we seem to be getting through with that one. Also there is mistrust about anything institutional. The indigenous people have seen many examples of programs, which are intended to benefit them, but the money stays “somewhere else”.

I have already produced two “graduates” of an informal training program for entrepreneurs’ here, an electrician and a carpenter. Motivating them to go out and find work have been interesting.

I have an extensive background in US business planning, fund-raising for growing entrepreneurial companies. I am the CEO of a venture to provide training, coaching, and eventually microcredit to entrepreneurs in the USA, with the first training program scheduled to be held this summer.

Are there any other Grameen replication programs operating in Costa Rica? How might I contact them? Whom can I communicate with to get answers and determine how best to get started?

Barry Stevens
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Costa Rica
E-mail: [email protected]
April 2, 2004

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Need More Resources Just To Scale Up

I am writing to you from Lago Agrio, Ecuador, where I direct a Grameen type microcredit program. Celia Varera assisted us in the establishment of the program. Currently, we have eighty-five women participants. We would like to expand our program, as there is a great need for microcredit in this part of the world. Our program is situated along the Ecuador-Colombia border and a variety of factors, such as decrease in coffee prices, the war in Colombia and the influx of refugees, have exacerbated the poverty level in that region.

I hope you might be able to suggest where we could obtain further training on the Grameen model, as well as more resources to expand our program.

I would greatly appreciate any information that you might have in this regard.

Enrique de la Cruz
Lago Agrio, Ecuador
E-mail: [email protected]
June 24, 2004

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Interest in Mexico

After reading Mr. Muhammad Yunu’s book “ Towards a World without Poverty” and going through the Grameen Bank web page, articles and the Projects that have been implemented though the replicated programs of the bank in Mexico, I am writing to you on behalf of the Micro Regions Strategy General Coordinator, to get further information on how is participate conditions in the Grameen International Dialogue as well as the Grameen International Training Programs.

Is there a protocol as for us to exchange information with you, regarding the interest of the Mexican Government through its Micro Regions Strategy to participate for us to get a hold of the agendas to be treated in the Programs.

MA Joanna Cristo Aguirre

Deputy Director of International Relations
Ministry of Social Development Mexico
General Coordination of Micro Regions
Tel: 005553285000 ext. 55054

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Keen on Internship at Grameen

I am a Junior at Amherst College, majoring in Economics. Over the past two summers I have worked at the Centre for Policy Dialogue in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I am interested in working for an institution that is involved in the dynamic application of poverty reduction policies. I would like to assist a senior executive and work in the field to gain an understanding of how such policies are actually implemented. As an assistant, I believe I can contribute to the institution with my research and writing skills. Are there any summer internship opportunities at Grameen Trust? If so, is there a set application procedure? If not, is there anyone I could approach to discuss the possibility of creating an internship?

Saber Zohir
Amherst, U.S.A.
E-mail: [email protected]
April 2, 2004

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


You are a true light to the world !

I finished your book recently and was touched and moved by what you have accomplished and the way in which you approach the world. I am the founder and president of Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) and after reading your book I placed it on the ‘must read list’ for all our members. I strongly support your philosophy towards development and poverty and would like to open a dialogue with you so that I can learn more about making a positive difference. I am interested in introducing many of the Grameen ideas into EWB and further develop our operations and development philosophy. I would be willing to come to Bangladesh to meet with you.

Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) works with disadvantaged communities around the world to improve their quality of life through sustainable and appropriate engineering projects. Examples of these are micro energy production, potable water access, computing access and skills, waste management systems, etc. We always work together with the community or village, both in the design and implementation phases and are based on the concept of two way growth. We are a very new organisation and are still in our formative stages. This is a powerful asset since we are not bound by the bureaucracy and history that limits so many other development organisations. On the other hand our inexperience makes us immature and often unsure. We are looking for mentors to guide us through these early stages and help us become effective in the work we do.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours, in peace,

Daniel Almagor
Engineers Without Borders Australia

Monday, 23 August 2004

Thank you!

I am an Italian woman who lives in Denmark. I have just read your book and I would like to thank you and the other people who work for Grameen for your action.

Your book has provoked many different feelings inside me, but most of all I think it reminds that life is an adventure, and that the only limits we put to our growth as human beings are inside us.
I think your action is also important for those, like me, who do not need the direct help from Grameen: What you are doing shows that there is hope for humanity now and in the future generations. It shows that dreams can be shaped into realities. And that's what we all need.

Thank you very much,

Valeria Lacorte

Tuesday, 17 August 2004

 Editor : Muhammad
Executive Editor : Khalid Shams 
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