Monday 1st November marks the start of the 13th class of Kiva Fellows. In various locations across the world, our class of 24 individuals from a large variety of different backgrounds, ages and interests will be eagerly stepping into their host MFI’s office to start their journey as a Kiva Fellow in the field.

In reality, this journey started many months ago when we took the decision to apply and start along the road towards becoming a fellow with Kiva. From the very beginning, Kiva impressed me with its organisation and efficiency throughout the process. This continued into our training week which we all attended at Kiva HQ in San Francisco in October.

Fellows training was quite an experience. We were thrown together in classes from 8am to 6.30pm every day for a week. We learned about every aspect of Kiva; the history of the organisation and its impressive growth over the past 5 years presented by Matt and Premal (CEO and President); understanding the Partner Administration tool and how profile posting, repayment reporting and journal updates work in the field; learning how Kiva manages its accounting cycles and net billing process and understanding the importance of the Social Performance Indicator audit of each MFI every two years (and much more besides!)

Social activities were arranged in the evenings to get to know the Kiva staff and our fellow fellows. The environment was open and relaxed, with Matt and Premal joining us for drinks and happy to chat and answer questions. The most exciting of these was the opportunity to attend Kiva’s 5th Birthday Party where we manned lending stations and spoke to lenders on behalf of Kiva. For me this was one of those moments which I will remember for a long time.

The training was intense, challenging and all- encompassing. Ideas and thoughts were passed around the room in an open and collaborative way. I finished the week feeling like I had 23 new best friends, a whole host of resources to support me in my fellowship and the ability to tackle this new challenge with confidence. It was a privilege to spend a week at Kiva HQ- the passion and enthusiasm of all the staff there was incredibly motivating and it has filled me with drive to complete this new job to the best of my ability.

Watch the video to find out where fellows from the 13th Class will be based and playing our small part in Kiva’s mission of connecting people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

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Visit the Kiva Fellows portal if you are interested in becoming a Kiva Fellow.

By Jacqueline Gunn, KF13. Starting her new adventure at Christian Rural Aid Network (CRAN) in Ghana.


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