Since 2007, the Kiva Fellows Program has offered over 400 individuals a rare opportunity to put their skills to work in support of global microfinance. Kiva Fellows serve as Kiva’s eyes and ears on the ground, working directly with Kiva’s microfinance institution (MFI) field partners in over 60 countries around the globe. The Kiva Fellow is an unpaid, volunteer position designed to increase Kiva’s impact and to offer participants a unique insider experience.
Fellows serve many vital roles for Kiva. They expand Kiva’s impact by building key relationships and transferring critical knowledge to their host MFI, help Kiva develop sustainable practices by working with their MFI to improve operations, and they share their insights, pictures, and stories from the field with the more than 1 million Kiva users. In short, they provide invaluable support for Kiva’s mission of connecting people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
The Kiva Fellows Program’s partnership with IndieGoGo gives accepted Kiva Fellows a platform to fundraise for their fellowship experience. Because the fellowship is self-funded, without IndieGoGo many fellows would be unable to help Kiva alleviate poverty. In just a few short months, Kiva Fellows have raised over $25,000 using IndieGoGo. Mariela Cedeno, who raised nearly $4,000 to support her fellowship in Bolivia, says “IndieGoGo was a great venue to bring together not only my friends and family, but also others in my extended network that were interested in supporting the mission of the Kiva Fellows Program. Aside from providing an aesthetically pleasing platform to drive donors to, it also allowed me to share updates, photos, and Kiva news with those that were supporting my efforts!”
According to Kiva Fellows Program Manager Jacob Schultz, “our partnership with IndieGoGo provides fellows with one easy, highly visible platform for them to help offset the costs of their fellowship. We’re thrilled with the success they’ve had so far and are excited to see where our partnership with IndieGoGo takes future fellows.”
Some of the Kiva Fellows Program’s favorite campaigns include:
- Kiyomi Beach
After a substantial time in the financial industry, Kiyomi heads to Veracruz, Mexico to work as an unpaid volunteer at the Huatusco Coffee Cooperative, which is a microfinance institution based in both Veracruz and Huatusco, Mexico.
- Whitney Webb
With 3.5 months planned for a fellowship in Kigali, Rwanda, Whitney will be working on a number of initiatives to benefit Kiva’s work; strengthening the relationship with the MFI, developing training techniques as part of the Kiva practice and reporting on the ground for the Kiva blog and community.
- Ryan Cummings
Soon to find himself on the other side of the world in Liberia, the world’s third poorest country, Ryan will head to Monrovia for 4 months to volunteer his support of the Kiva program’s efforts.
- Natalie Sherman
By day a graduate of a Masters in Public Administration, Natalie will soon head to Yaoundé, Cameroon to continue her work as a Kiva Fellow, communicating with local borrowers and sharing their stories.
- Nessa French
Hailing from Queens, New York, Nessa will be stepping outside her comfort zone and on her way to the city of Nairobi in Kenya. She will actively pursue her duties as a Kiva Fellow, working with 3 different organizations including Strathmore University, Faulu Kenya and SMEP.
Interested in becoming a Kiva Fellow? Apply now at www.kiva.org/fellows!
Please consider supporting Kiva Fellows on our IndieGoGo partner page.