By Cameron Morris KF8, Mozambique
On Monday ten hours of arduous bus travel took me from Maputo to Johannesburg and brought a pretty definite end to my Kiva Fellowship. Before going to Mozambique I was easily amazed by wonky, academic models that sought to bring the end of poverty to the world. It didn’t take long to realize that those theories are exactly that, just theories that in reality cannot be easily applied. People are not merely numbers or statistics and their problems are not inputs into functions. Their problems are real and have voices. Voices that are not full of sob stories, but that are pragmatic and eager to get things done. They do not need economists in white coats to solve their problems, nor do they need bags full of money. They merely need to be enabled to pursue their ideas, plans and dreams.
I see Kiva as one of a few organizations aimed at alleviating poverty that does exactly that. A person needs capital to help enable their pursuit of projects that they believe will improve their economic well being and individuals from around the globe come together to give it to them. A lot of fellows conclude their fellowship saying “this experience has been great, but what’s next? what can I further do to contribute to the alleviation of poverty”.
In my opinion the answer to that question was apparent in almost everything I did and observed in my daily activity in Mozambique. In working in a country considered to be developing it is quite easy to observe where inefficiencies lie and to identify major issues that are holding people back from succeeding at what they are putting their hard work into. Kiva serves as a great example to us fellows of a social entrepreneurship project that uses the practical application of technology to brings people together to increase the efficiency in which capital gets from lender to borrower. Kiva’s model and success should inspire us to pursue solutions to other problems we observe as fellows. I’m walking away from this experience with many ideas to address problems I observed that may or may not come to fruition. Most importantly I am inspired and truly believe that the Kiva model and social entrepreneurship in general can resolve issues of development much more efficiently than the heavy bureaucracies that are currently charged with doing the majority of development work. So, thank you Kiva, thank you Hluvuku, and thank you Mozambique!
Okay, enough serious talk. Grab some popcorn, put your feet up and enjoy my Mozambican highlight reel featuring Kiva borrowers, exuberant Mozambican culture and adventure. As a side note, I highly encourage anyone interested in visiting Mozambique to do it. It’s a beautiful country full of the nicest, most receptive people I have ever encountered in my travels.'
Cameron Morris is a member of KF8 that worked with Hluvuku-Adsema in rural southern Mozambique. He has concluded his fellowship and is very excited about the future! To learn more about Hluvuku-Adsema join their lending team here./>