Yes, folks, I present to you, Kiva field partner EDAPROSPOs jack-of-all-trades Kiva Coordinator - HARRIS. (his official title is Asistente de Finanzas y Operaciones, aka Finance and Operations Assistant, for all you non-Spanish speakers reading this correspondence.)
Harris is a 30-year-old young professional and former pro-futsal star/semi-pro fútbol player. (He puts my athleticism and swagger to shame.) With his flowing brown hair, above average stance/A+ posture, and smooth-talking charm, he is the ideal Kiva Coordinator (oh, and he is also super-organized, detailed-oriented, and great with numbers). I have been fortunate enough to work closely with Harris at EDAPROSPO these last two months (and eat lunch with him everyday!).
Not only does Harris manage and oversee the posting of Kiva loans at EDAPROSPO, he leads all financial reporting for the Peruvian NGO and is even the organization`s default IT guy! Harris is also a lifelong student, taking night classes on a variety of subjects, including Excel programming, database management, and most recently, a certificate program in microfinance.
Before moving on from my placement at EDAPROSPO, I had the opportunity to sit down with Harris for one last heart to heart. What follows is an excerpt of our conversation. Enjoy.
Please state your name, age, title, and astrological sign.
My name is Harris. I am 30 years old. I am the Finance and Operations Assistant at EDAPROSPO. My astrological sign is Leo.
How long have you been working at EDAPROSPO?
Since Valentine’s Day 2012. So that would be almost 1.5 years.
What were some of your previous jobs?
When I was around 9 or 10 years old, I would go around the neighborhood with my brother selling bread out of a cart, but that only lasted for two days. When I was 13 I sold clothing. I also have worked as a painter on construction sites, a city bus driver assistant (the guy who collects fares on the bus), worked as a security guard (“watchman”), a math tutor, and of course, a soccer player. Most recently I worked for a state agency and was also a project consultant for a private company.
Where did you receive your university degree and what did you study?
Universidad Nacional de Ingeniera (UNI). I studied “Economic Engineering.” It’s economics but with more math and statistics.
What do you think about Kiva? (feel free to lie to me.)
Hahaha. Kiva helps us a lot. They make things easier for us. I find it very interesting how Kiva works. The way in which Kiva has been able to connect lenders with money to people without money is very different/unique/odd/unheard of. Before Kiva, people had not ever thought of doing this. And, with no interest, it is even more extraordinary.
What do you like most about working at EDAPROSPO?
I really like how I am empowered to work independently and to innovate. They put a lot of trust in me. Here at EDAPROSPO, the staff is treated very well. In some ways, my team is like a small family.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I will have my own goods and services business, likely in northern Peru. It will involve the wholesale of goods. I think I will be working with one or two of my siblings. Also, I plan to be married with two children.... No, actually just one daughter.
What genres of movies do you like to watch?
I really enjoy superhero movies. I am a huge fan of Superman. Anything related to Superman, I watch. I like action movies, but also movies with a sentimental story. I guess my preference would be action, romantic comedies, and then dramas. I don’t like horror films. I like animated movies but really just Japanese Anime.
What will you miss most about working with me? (my smile?)
Hahaha. Can I lie now? Your company and conversation during our lunches! Also, your jokes.
What will you miss least? (don’t say my fashion sense!)
Is there anything you would like to say to Kiva lenders?
I want to thank Kiva lenders for helping people achieve the impossible. Kiva lenders help many people reach their goals and dreams. They are very special because of their willingness to loan without interest. The borrowers have dreams and goals with the purpose in mind of always helping their family. I also would like to say that if Kiva lenders are ever interested in contacting me and want to know more about their loans to EDAPROSPO clients, please do so. My email can be found on EDAPROSPO’s website.
There you have it, folks. Harris. I will definitely miss working with the guy!
Thanks for reading. Next stop: Kiva field partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren in Ica, Peru.
For more details on my work with EDAPROSPO and a few of their Kiva borrowers whom I met with, check out this blog post
If you enjoyed this update, please join the Fans of EDAPROSPO Kiva Lending Team, or fund another loan from EDAPROSPO.
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Proudly hailing from New York, Zach enjoys experiencing new cities and local coffee shops. His belief in the power of community-building, person-to-person connections, and technology to create economic growth and improve the quality of life has led him to become a Kiva Fellow. His studies at Northwestern in mathematical methods in the social sciences resulted in a consulting project for the Los Angeles Police Department, which taught him the importance of data in making effective decisions. After graduating, Zach moved to Cambridge, MA where he worked for three years as an analyst at the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) - a nonprofit dedicated to helping philanthropic funders assess their performance and improve their effectiveness. Post-CEP, Zach moved back to the bitter cold of Chicago and went to work for Groupon in merchant strategy and then in business intelligence for an online brokerage company. He has also spent a substantial amount of time in Argentina, beginning with a semester studying at la Universidad de Buenos Aires. He cannot wait to start his Kiva Fellowship!