Ever have one of those days where you just felt like you belonged? That you were right were you were supposed to be, doing exactly what you were supposed to be doing? Well, for me, today was that day.
My Kiva Fellows training week kicked off in San Francisco this morning and, over coffee and bagels, I got to mingle with Kiva leadership and my fellow Fellows. There are 25 of us, and while we are all going to different places around the globe, we were all immediately connected by this big adventure we’re embarking on together. It was a great day; very professionally organized and designed to fill our brains with as much knowledge about the history, facts, challenges, bumps, hiccups, media hype, successes, triumphs and vision for Kiva’s future we could sponge up.
Kiva’s Co-Founder and CEO, Matt Flannery met with us and shared that Kiva only accepts 19% of all the applicants into the Kiva Fellow’s program so we were quite fortunate, but also have a huge responsibility to fulfill as we set out to deliver against our individually designed workplans.
In my case, I will be serving in Tbilisi, Georgia , supporting CREDO a MFI (microfinance institution) where my primary objective is to help them move from pilot phase to a full-blown partnership. This is critical as CREDO is limited to a small funding cap during pilot phase and only with the placement of a Kiva Fellow on site to execute due diligence, risk assessment and borrower verifications (among many items on my workplan) can the funding amounts increase. My tasks are specific and objectives very clear. The Kiva model is complex and relocating as an unpaid volunteer to a developing nation is daunting, but I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and get the job done…afterall I’m in the 19% club.
P.S. Oh, and when The Simpsons do a parody on Kiva and microfinance, you know you’re on to something good.