If you take a look at who’s in the Mifos community, you’ll see that it’s a diverse group of individuals from all backgrounds from around the world. Our community crosses physical boundaries, cultural barriers, and multiple time zones to unite all with a common vision to collaborate to deliver technology for microfinance.
Let’s meet Jeff Blue and Julia Kurnia, a father and daughter from Washington, DC who implemented Mifos at SEM Fund (Senegal Ecovillage Microfinance) , a microfinance institution (MFI) serving approximately 1,500 clients in Yoff, Senegal.SEM Fund, one of the original Kiva lending partners began in 2004 and expanded to 38 villages in 2006 when Julia, a Portfolio Analyst at the US African Development Foundation joined as a co-founder. When SEM Fund’s needs grew beyond Microsoft Excel, she looked to her father, Jeff, a retired applications and database manager, for support.
Jeff discovered Mifos while searching the internet for open source microfinance software; liking its flexibility, he downloaded it and began localizing it to support SEM Fund’s unique needs. With help from the community via our mailing lists, he installed it remotely on a server in the US and began building custom reports to meet the information needs of SEM Fund’s director, Ismaël Diallo. Julia managed rollout and training from afar, helping SEM Fund to go fully live on the French version of Mifos in February 2009.
Since Mifos is a web-based thin-client system, Jeff and Julia, are able to remotely support SEM Fund, while Ismaël and his staff use Mifos to process their loans and manage their operations on the ground. Jeff continues to be an active participant on the mailing lists, helping others around the world successfully adopt the Mifos technology.
This inspiring story is like that of many others out there, getting the chance to give back and fight poverty through the Mifos platform.
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