Guess what??? I found out where I'm going to be placed!
In about 1.5 months, I'll be heading to Cochabamba, Bolivia
and working with Kiva's local MFI partner CIDRE, where I'll be
supporting their efforts to help develop the businesses of low-income
entrepreneurs working in farming, livestock, and dairy production in
rural regions of Bolivia. I could NOT be more excited!!!!!!!!!!!!
Having traveled, studied, volunteered, and perhaps most personally significant, having been born and raised abroad, I have for along time felt a calling to be part of something that affords people in developing
communities the opportunity to use their entrepreneurial prowess to
improve their quality of life in a sustainable way. By connection people with resources to entrepreneurs in need of resources, Kiva does just that -- helping people lift themselves out poverty, not through hand-outs, but through investment in both their business and self.
I became a Kiva lender in 2008 after a seeing a Kiva billboard on a drive up highway 101 -- funny thing is that 3 years later, I have made 36 loans and have witnessed first hand how the little seed money I put out into the lending universe has helped fund food, retail, farming businesses, along with other projects all over the world (See my Kiva Lender Page)
Becoming a Kiva fellow is the next natural step in the life of someone who knows that it isn't a lack of innovation, desire, or drive that keeps people living in sub-standard conditions, but rather a lack of access to resources, and wants to be part of the movement to let the rest of the world know that same thing. I don't aim to single handedly solve the issue of poverty, but I do plan on becoming positive multiplier that highlights the very direct impact that a small amount of money can make on the life on a person 'getting by' when they could be 'getting ahead'.
The Kiva Fellows Program
The Kiva Fellows Program offers individuals (me) a rare opportunity to travel abroad and witness firsthand the impact and realities of microfinance, by working directly with a host microfinance institution (MFI). The Kiva Fellow is an unpaid, volunteer based position designed to increase Kiva's impact and to offer participants (again, me) a unique insider experience in the world of microfinance. The Kiva Fellow is an integral part of the Kiva Team, acting as Kiva's eyes and ears in the field and helping to extend limited resources to maximum effect.
As Kiva fellow, I'll be involved in a little of everything, including:
Promoting the Power of Microfinance
Strengthening Partnership Relationships
Increasing Transparency: Spreading Technology
Connecting through Lending
Facilitating Industry Inclusion
What I Need To Get There
As you all know, the non-profit world that I have been involved with since I completed my studies is a highly lucrative world of fanciness, wait no.....
I'll be leaving my job to volunteer in a non-paid internship program that will drop me somewhere in Latin America for close to 4 months with no income and a 9-5...and I couldn't be happier about it. In order get there, live there, work there, learn there, and experience all that this fellowship has to offer I will need your help covering a few things.
I estimate that my trip will cost close to $5,000 (which covers airfare, accommodation, food, travel to visit entrepreneurs, etc) and am asking that you help me cover half of those expenses -- however much you can afford. I realize that this a hefty price tag, but it's something that I am willing to take on and know that YOU will help me get there. To help me, I am asking that you help support not only my fellowship, but my hopes to make a real impact in a developing community. Help me, help others break the cycle of poverty!
Other Ways You Can Help
get the word out! and...
If you know anyone who works for an airline that might be able to provide a volunteer a free flight, that would be amazing. If you have miles that you want to donate...that would AMAZING! Want to just give me a hug and wish me bon voyage, AMAZING!!!