Arguably the best things about GHAPE is the execution of their social mission. They take a lot of pride in fostering a sense of community that not only educates their borrowers on topics such as loan management and hygiene, but also allows their members to feel apart of a group that shares in their triumphs and losses. GHAPE organizes centers so that borrowers feel comfortable speaking in their center, and at the same time, there is a professionalism during the meetings. Visiting now 12 of the 28 centers, the slight differences in each center shows that GHAPE gives centers the autonomy to write their own rules, as well as follow some of GHAPE’s etiquette standards (such as not speaking when someone has the floor). GHAPE, for some members, may be the only membership they have, where there are firm standards and accountability, coupled with a sense of empowerment.
Being a Kiva Fellow is a great honor. I not only feel as though I am giving my time and money (by financing my fellowship), but I am getting back so much more. The opportunity I have at GHAPE is very unique in that I not only to facilitate the connections between Kiva lenders, Kiva, GHAPE and Kiva borrowers, but GHAPE truly sees me as part of their family. The GHAPE family is very much a real thing: members of GHAPE often refer to themselves as a family. Doing the small rituals that GHAPE has makes one feel a part of an organization that knows its members are its foundation. When a GHAPE famliy member sees another they say “when we are together…” The instant we hear that, immediately, sometimes without seeing the person, we yell back “we are one.”
The picture above, I have to mention, is the funniest thing we have all done together. Sunday dinners become an excuse to drink a lot, eat a lot and “snap” a ridiculous amount of pictures. This is our “silly” picture, but to me it is the best way to show how great this staff’s personality is. LOL, if you will./>