Family and Friends,
As many of you have heard, I was recently accepted for a Fellowship with Kiva.org. While I am waiting for placement (in hopefully Nigeria or Sierra Leone), I will be in a developing country for 12 weeks this summer to assist with their efforts to help alleviate global poverty through microfinance.
If you’re hearing about Kiva for the first time, you’re not alone. Kiva.org is a non-profit that allows you to lend capital to a specific low-income entrepreneur in the developing world. In increments of $25, you choose who to lend to – whether a baker in Samoa, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, a restaurateur in Cambodia, or even a tailor in Pakistan – and as they repay their loan, you get your money back. You can then choose to re-invest your money, or you can withdraw it. It’s a powerful and sustainable way to empower someone right now to lift themselves out of poverty and an innovative way to see how you make the difference.
My job as a Fellow will be to assist my MFI (Microfinance Institution) partner and be the bridge between the MFI and Kiva.org. It will be my responsibility to add new micro-entrepreneurs to Kiva’s website by writing their stories and photographing them, as well as meeting with entrepreneurs that have already received loans to verify the loans disbursement and hear about the progress. In this way I will assist with Kiva work, but I will also help train the staff of (MFI) on how to best implement Kiva’s online platform to help them fund the poor. The Fellowship program is unique in the variety of tasks that I undertake and the potential for a lasting impact on the people of the city I’m placed in, the staff of the MFI, and Kiva.org.
My Fellowship begins in mid-May with a week-long training at Kiva headquarters in San Francisco, and will be truly underway while I leave for my placement on June 1, 2009. The fellowship is not paid and I am responsible for raising support to cover airfare and living expenses for the duration of my 12 weeks abroad. I’d be grateful if you would consider joining with me and financially supporting my fellowship.
Since Kiva was founded, over $33 million dollars have been donated by more than 300,000 lenders in 70 countries. That money has funded over 50,000 entrepreneurs funded in 43 different countries. The default rate on repayment is 2.5%. That means that 97.5% of loans are repaid, isn’t that incredible?
I have created a full budget of my expenses and am looking to raise $7,500. Every little bit counts so please give what you can!
There are a few ways to give:
1) Donate via my ChipIn:
2) Send cash or checks payable to SLOANE BERRENT to:
2 Robin Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
3) If you’d like to donate airline miles or help support my trip in other ways, please send me an email. sloane (at) thecausemopolitan (dot) com.
* This is a donation to fund my participation with Kiva.org. Unfortunately due to nonprofit tax laws, Kiva has advised all Fellows to share with you that a tax-deductible letter is not possible since the donation isn’t to Kiva itself. However, I will be sending EVERYONE acknowledgments thanking you for your donation.
* For donations over $100, I will send you a personal postcard from my location. I’ll compile that list before I go.
* Other cool incentives for donations over $100 to come, so stay tuned!
Thank you to everyone! Your support is my inspiration and fuels me daily to help in the fight to eradicate global poverty and help people everywhere be the best they can be and with the help of Kiva, have the tools and resources to make their dream come true.