Nina has been working for NASA as a Software Engineer for the last 10 years. She graduated with Bachelors in Computer Science from Penn State University, Masters in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and studied abroad in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Growing up in India, she developed a deep interest in international development through interacting with small struggling businesses on daily basis – where each person had sense of sincerity, survival, and hard work. She first heard of Kiva in 2006 through an interview with Mohammad Yunnus. In Kiva, she saw the unleashing power of microfinance, a pure human connection, a never-ending selfless cycle of giving, receiving, and self-empowerment using web 2.0 technology. She wanted to be part of it, and instantly became a Kiva lender and volunteer. Empowered by her technical skills and cross-cultural experiences, giving back to society is a part of her life’s purpose. Her passions include technology, space exploration, art, social enterprises and conscious businesses. She is leaving her enthusiasm for NASA space exploration behind to pursue her passions further, starting with this amazing Kiva Fellowship in Kenya, Africa.

Fellows Blog Posts by Nina Patel.

Sep 23, 2014 GO Global Update

Those of you who know me well know my love for lingustics, and learning  languages around the world. My Kiva Fellowship was a perfect opportunity to nurture this passion of mine further. Since I arrived in Kenya, I've been learning the beautiful language of Swahili. When you love learning languages, it also makes you also meet some amazing local people that you develop bonds with ...

Meet Michael, he is one of many cab's drivers that work with Kiva in Kenya! He picked me up this morning for work and said "Nina, it's been a long time, a week since I saw you...

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Sep 9, 2014 TZ Tanzania

Experience the mystical, enchanting streets of Stone Town, Zanzibar: Continue Reading >>

Jul 19, 2014 KE Kenya

While working on Kiva Zip operations in Kenya, I engage with Trustees (the volunteer backbone of the Kiva Zip model) every day, hearing their stories, experiences, issues, and very often-getting humble invitations to visit their borrowers. These visits are one of my favorite parts of my fellowship. This is when I get to see the impact of the Kiva Zip model on the ground.
Recently, I got to visit Kone Mory who is from Côte d’Ivoire, a country in west Africa. Kone is a designer, tailor, father... Continue Reading >>

Jul 1, 2014 KE Kenya

Kiva Zip is all about human connections. Three weeks in Nairobi and I am just amazed to witness the direct impact the Kiva Zip model is having on their borrowers and the strength of this bond of trustee-borrower-lender relationships.  This week, I met a Kiva Zip borrower, Esther.  She loves and is proud of her little shop “Facebook Cereal” in TOI market area of the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Starting from ground zero twice in the last 10 years due to internal Kenya riots and personal medical turmoil, Esther said, “Kiva Zip came as a miracle in my life, when I had...

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