Volunteer Spotlight: “...I feel really connected to those around the world.”

Kiva relies on an enormous network of volunteers to help review and translate loans that come in from our partners in one of the five key Kiva languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Russian). Each borrower has a different story to tell, and Kiva’s Review and Translation Program (RTP) connects each story with Kiva volunteers in order to communicate to the rest of the world.

Today, our RTP volunteers edit and translate about 15,000 loans each month, with a total of about 21.4 million words reviewed and translated per year. Here’s a close-up of the lives of three extraordinary volunteers: Brett, Mara, and Elizabeth. They get inspired by the unique loans they find on Kiva and are curious to learn more about each person’s life.

Brett Ray
Kiva Volunteer of the Month, January 2016

"Entrepreneurs never stop surprising me. Amazing people are doing incredible things all over the place, and I'm so happy to be a part of that in some very small way...I feel really connected to those around the world."

City: San Francisco, CA
Language: French
Team: Qui va Bien
Time with Kiva: 1 year

Outstanding Contributions to Kiva: Brett has truly made an impact in his year at Kiva. He’s passionate about using his incredible skills to connect hundreds of borrowers around the world.

Mara Nagaki
Kiva Volunteer of the Month, February 2016

“It is very motivating and humbling to know that every loan I translate is helping make dreams come true all over the world."

City: Canberra, Australia
Language: Spanish
Team: Las Pirañas Kivanas
Time with Kiva: 11 months

Outstanding Contributions to Kiva: As an active member of the forum, Mara is always learning new local terms from translating more than 852 Kiva borrower profiles.

Elizabeth Benjamin
Kiva Volunteer of the Month, March 2016

“The more you can connect with a person, the more you want to get involved. That is what draws me to Kiva's mission."

City: Hainesport, New Jersey
Language: English
Team: Only the Loanly
Time with Kiva: 2 years, 7 months

Outstanding Contributions to Kiva: Elizabeth is always taking initiative to go that extra mile! She's edited more than 2535 Kiva borrower profiles and is an asset to the Editing team.

Want to be part of this amazing community of translators? Join us here.

About the author

Eileen Chatoff

Born and raised in California, Eileen loves to travel and incorporate volunteerism and charitable giving into the communities she visits. She joined a team of Global Volunteers 10 years ago to live and work in Tanzania, teaching computer literacy to high school students. She has returned every year since. This love of Africa has led her to found her own small nonprofit, Resources To Africa, with the mission to provide educational resources to schools in Tanzania. Eileen also loves movies, stand up comedy and hiking the hills of the Bay Area.