By Peter Tashjian, KF11 Armenia
10 Random Things I Learned during my Kiva Fellowship:
1. Most people are good but carry memories of bad experiences. As soon as they address and resolve their interpretation of those experiences, their outlook on life improves almost immediately.
2. It’s a very emotional and life changing experience when a Kiva “Borrower Profile” you helped post is funded by hundreds of amazing “strangers” from around the world. Seeing the smiling faces of these lenders is very empowering.
3. Though the media reports mostly the negatives, the good work being done behind the scenes far outweigh the negatives which media chooses to focus on.
4. Kiva lends to entrepreneurs who are already on the road to helping themselves. This is not charity.
5. Being a Kiva Fellow is challenging work. The more comfortable you are in your own skin, the more effective you become in your mission to help reduce poverty.
6. When you are happy with yourself, everything and everyone around you suddenly improve.
7. I learned that the Armenian people in Yerevan, Armenia are art lovers. They make the art accessible to ordinary citizens and tourists by frequently having free concerts in various city centers along with art exhibitions.
8. Delicious apricots were originated in Armenia. A song by the name of Apricot Stone was entered in Eurovision 2010.
9. I was reminded that my life in Los Angeles is amazing, though I often forget this.
10. Don’t underestimate how much “strangers” care. Just look at the lenders on Kiva.org if you need a reminder.