Volunteer Spotlight: Kyla Evans, globetrotter, closes in on 5,000 loans edited!

"Globalization and new technologies are often seen to have changed the world for the worse. For me, Kiva is an expression of how to harness these forces for the good, bringing together people from across the planet to change lives in a sustainable way. I want to be a part of that change by giving time as well as money."

City: Brussels, Belgium

Language: English

Review & Translation Team: The Write Stuff

Time with Kiva: 2 years and 4 months

Outstanding contributions to Kiva:
Kyla has frequently appeared in the Top 10 list of editors, and has edited over 4,849 loans! Adding to her long list of achievements, Kyla has helped with special loan review for new Field Partners. She gives their first loans a close look and provides valuable feedback. But she doesn't stop there. She also contributes to discussions on the volunteers' forum both by posting questions and sharing insights to help others with her vast knowledge and experience of cultures and languages.

Here's a short Q&A with this incredible volunteer:

How did you find out about Kiva?
I discovered Kiva in April 2009 through a friend’s Facebook page. The idea grabbed me, and after I read a bit more about microfinance and how it works, I became a lender.

What is your favorite Kiva partner or region?
I enjoy seeing all types of loans coming from various parts of the world. I am always happy to see borrower profiles that come from Kenya as they remind me of the time I lived there (and I really hope one day to see loans from Somalia where I worked for a few years). I also love reviewing green loans in Mongolia, as it is nice to see societies collectively coming together to address shared issues such as reducing coal pollution by improving insulation or purchasing environmentally-friendly cooking pots.

Tell us about a memorable profile you've reviewed.
It makes me happy to see loans for women -- because as a women, you feel good about other women being inspired and their lives improving. But my most memorable individual profile was a guy from Albania. In his loan description, he mentioned how much he appreciated the boss he had worked for in Greece who had taught him what he needed to set up his own business back in Albania. Given the sometimes difficult relations between people in this part of the world, it really touched me that he would express such positive sentiments.

Where is your favorite place in the world to travel?
Traveling is living! I love traveling anywhere and everywhere and have been fortunate to visit so many places. My favorite travel experience was probably to Patagonia, the southernmost tip of South America. It was December of last year and we took a boat making our way around Cape Horn through icy glaciers, canals with the grey-white contrast of color of the sea and the land. It was amazing to be in such a remote and pristine place and to feel at the end of the world.

Tell us an unusual or surprising fact about yourself.
I spent a large part of my childhood in the USSR. In the late 1980s, just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, I took a gap year between school and university and worked for British Airways at Moscow Airport. We were busy as there were quite a few flights even then -- and some days were harder than others -- like the time when a BA flight from Tokyo to London via Moscow couldn’t take off as planned and we had to try to find food for all these passengers who were stuck in the airport as they didn’t have visas. All we had to give them were peanuts.

Want to volunteer on Kiva's Review and Translation team? Go go kiva.org/volunteer for more information.

About the author

Nida Jafri

Nida Jafri was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. After completing her Bachelors in Economics and International Relations from the University of Sussex, England in 2008, she returned home and joined the banking sector where she worked for the product development team for debit cards and mobile banking. It was there that her interest in attempting to reach the unbanked segment developed. After completing two years in the corporate world, she pursued her passion of teaching high school students, Development Studies and Sociology. Her life in the last two months has drastically changed, leaving family behind, getting married and moving to an absolutely new country. Living in the lovely city of San Francisco has been an adventure bringing her the good fortune of coming closer to her goal of working for global economic development, by becoming a Kiva intern first working for 6 months with the Global Partnerships Team and now working for another 6 months with the Review and Translation Team. In these few months she has been on a path of self- discovery taking a fond interest in cooking, baking, salsa lessons, running and playing soccer.