motivation statement

September 22, 2009

Sitting here in a café in Kathmandu, Nepal, I am thrilled at the fact that microfinance is a social phenomenon that proves to be an ever-present spark in my daily life. I am always considering how it can be beneficial to the lives of people that I meet every day as I travel through the developing world.
I see my motivation to become a Kiva Fellow as a sensible and exciting next step in my path towards understanding how I can be most productive in alleviating poverty. Semester at Sea is where I first studied in depth about the Grameen Bank and the possibilities of microfinance to change the world. I carried this notion with me to Indonesia as I implemented an empowerment and development project for women in the village where I lived. It was here that I really began to value the potential of human relationships as I engrossed myself in their lives and I became absolutely certain that with the proper link between those learning and those helping, the possibilities are endless. Later, when the opportunity arose to visit Grameen Bank directly and take part in a Basic Training Program, I was thrilled at the chance.
It was the experience learning at the Grameen Bank that truly ignited something inside me. I developed bonds with the women in small Bangladeshi villages as I learned about how their lives had been changed for the better. This made me absolutely certain that people all over the world have abilities to be entrepreneurial. When given the financial opportunity to achieve whatever they have in mind, their determination, skill, and empowerment will lead them to accomplish their goal, and assist in the development of the lives and families. It is with this concept that I think an innovative social change can happen, and what better way than with technology of the Internet and actual lending between two people directly.
I feel that becoming a Kiva Fellow will enhance my true understanding of microfinance as it is implemented in the field. I will be able to get to know people that are paving their own future with the loans. This will further my understanding on creating a positive link between borrower and lender. The connection between those two factors is something that I truly want to understand and grasp. I am curious about the notion of empowering borrowers to realize their full potential as entrepreneurs, while also acknowledging the importance of paying back their loans. This holistic understanding will prove to better the lives of the borrowers for both their families and for themselves.
As a Kiva Fellow, I would thrive in the environment of working to further connect the lives of borrowers and lenders, those between Kiva and the MFI, and also fully grasping the workings of Kiva. I have a lot of confidence in my abilities due to my extensive experience in developing countries. I am certain that I can adapt to cultural differences and make my time constructive and beneficial to all those involved.