Volunteering experience at FMFC

Summer Volunteer and Intern Summer 2017 at FMFC

This past summer was one of the most memorable. I spent over two months in a beautiful country, with amazing people that I will never forget. Whether it was spending a weekend in the secluded mountains of Son Kul, or visiting a company branch in the historical city of Osh, something new was always around the corner. Having studied business and engineering, I found FMFC a great place to learn new skills and apply my knowledge. As FMFC seeks to embrace the digital economy, it was an exciting time to be part of such an ambitious transition. 

 

 

 During my role at the First Micro Finance Company, I researched the banking systems in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan to better understand underserved communities. I developed new marketing materials for new Nano-loan and Money Transfer systems, and discovered patterns in client data using the Progress out of Poverty Index developed by the Grameen Foundation. I additionally performed competitor analysis and researched new market opportunities in Central Asia and Russia. As one of the younger members of the office, this role challenged and ultimately enhanced my ability to work in teams, seek out tasks, and learn new skills in a very limited time. This included improving my grasp of the Russian Language, to which I had no prior exposure. 

 

Having seen the impact FMFC has on improving the quality of life for its mainly rural clients, who have few options to obtain loans, I can say that this work is very meaningful. I certainly felt as if I was having an impact on people’s lives, as they used the loans to grow their businesses and eventually fund their children’s education or gain access to better health care. The work of FMFC in Kyrgyzstan without a doubt strives to achieve the goal of its parent organization, the Aga Khan Development Network, which seeks to help those in need achieve self-reliance and an improved quality of life. 

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