Featured Volunteer: Ann Marie Tunney brings entrepreneur expertise to translating loans

Ann Marie is our Volunteer of the Month for July! She works tirelessly as part of our Review and Translation Program to make loan postings accessible on the Kiva website. Without dedicated volunteers like Ann Marie, we wouldn't be able to help as many borrowers change their lives with small loans.

"Kiva serves a great purpose, introducing us to and letting us fund small businesses. Working with Kiva helps us better understand the borrowers. We translate loans for individuals who often operate out of their homes and rely on this business model for their sustenance and growth."  -- Ann Marie Tunney

City: Chicago, currently Mexico and moving to Ecuador in January 2014

Language: Spanish

Team:  Los Kivatores

Time with Kiva: 1 year and 4 months

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

How did you find out about Kiva?

I am not sure where I first read about Kiva. I support a number of organizations, and Kiva is one of them. I began lending on Kiva a few years ago. When I lived in Nicaragua and Honduras, I learned more about small businesses. On completing a translation master’s degree program, I decided to volunteer for the Kiva Review and Translation Program.

What is your favorite Kiva partner or region?

I do not have a favorite region or partner, though I do believe that certain partners write succinct loans with great photos that are appealing to lenders. These types of loans tend to fund better, as great pictures are worth 1,000 words. The Oregon loans on the website have attractive photos and clear text.

Tell us about a memorable profile you have reviewed.

I have translated loans for young people who wish to finance their college educations, a goal that is not only admirable, but truly a necessity in the 21st century. My parents only completed eighth grade, which was the norm in Ireland at that time. Their dream was to see all their children finish college. I take an interest in similar borrower profiles, as education makes a tremendous difference.

Where is your favorite place in the world to travel?

My family lived in a working-class neighborhood in Chicago, where it was unusual to take trips beyond neighboring states. My mother took us on somewhat exotic trips to California, Hawaii, Europe, and Jamaica. What memorable vacations!

Tell us an unusual or surprising fact about yourself.

I will be joining the Peace Corps in January 2014 as a volunteer teacher in Ecuador. I am excited to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Interested in volunteering with Kiva? Check out opportunities at www.kiva.org/volunteer!

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.