Kiva is the web-based microfinance institution that has done so much to introduce microfinance to a wide audience. The Kiva Fellows Program offers individuals 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 a unique insider experience. Past participants have found the fellowship to be a great first step in a career in microfinance or international development.
I'll paste some basic information taken from the Kiva website below. Thanks, Kelsey, for the suggestion. And good luck in your investigations!
Successful Kiva Fellows tend to share certain skills and characteristics:
- Overseas experience (preferably in developing countries)
- High degree of flexibility, self-motivation and problem solving
- Excellent writing skills
- Enthusiasm for Kiva!
- Familiarity and comfort with various web applications
- Dedication to working in the field with a microfinance institution
- Ability and commitment to fundraise for their trip
- Sincere interest in microfinance
- Longer stays (4 months +) are preferred
Furthermore, past Kiva Fellows with the following skills have found great success in the program:
- Fluency or advanced communication ability in French, Spanish, Russian, or other language in a country where Kiva has a presence
- Background in economics/finance/consulting will greatly enhance your ability to provide support to the host MFI
Kiva Fellow Core Responsibilities:
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. Kiva Fellows fulfill tasks set out in a Work Plan, defined by Kiva along with the host microfinance institution (MFI).
- Facilitate Connections between Kiva's Borrowers and Lenders
Your journal entries, business postings and blog entries will help build the rich content that bridges our borrowers and lenders and makes Kiva's model work!
- Interview no less than 15 businesses per week to assess loan impact, verify data, and gather information for journal updates
- Develop innovative ways to facilitate connections via creative journaling, YouTube video and other means
- Write a blog entry every two weeks on the Kiva Fellows Blog
- Promote awareness of the host MFI and its programs to the Kiva lender community
- Promote an understanding of the Kiva lending community to borrowers
- Assist Communications and Maximize the host MFI's Partnership with Kiva
Tasks may include some or all of the following:
- Assist the host MFI to regularly collect and post borrower profiles for funding onto the Kiva website
- Observe, learn and document the MFI's operations and its use of the Kiva platform, including recommendations as appropriate
- Transfer skills to MFI staff on Kiva processes, policies and best practices
- Create working documents and templates for the MFI to use during and post-fellowship
- Complete additional projects for the MFI as time allows and skills match needs
- Support Kiva's Mission, Product and Procedures
As a Kiva Fellow, your work will help support Kiva's product, marketing and organizational development. Your consistent feedback is invaluable to Kiva's growth.
- Communicate regularly with Kiva
- Understand and promote Kiva Policies
- Provide updates and feedback through weekly progress reports and a final end-of-fellowship report within one month of returning
- Create Entrepreneur Press Profiles, as frequently as possible
- Complete other tasks for Kiva as needed