Patrick grew up in the Midwest, deeply curious about the world that existed beyond the wheat fields and interstates. His first experience as a foreigner was in Spain as a young adult, and he has since focused his travels on developing countries where he has strived to leave a meaningful mark on people or communities through volunteerism.Patrick has now been traveling around the world and volunteering for more than 20 years. He has combined his passion for philanthropy with his insatiable curiosity about the world to more deeply understand other cultures while practicing a “leave YOUR trace” style of travel. He shares these experiences and their lessons through his blog ( He holds a journalism degree and a masters in environmental policy. Beyond his professional endeavors as a consultant for NGOs, Patrick has contributed to causes he cares about through efforts at home and abroad. He has served volunteer roles in South Africa, India, Peru, Costa Rica, Belize, Thailand and most recently in Moore, Oklahoma, where he provided aid to tornado victims immediately following the devastating storms of May 2013. 

Fellows Blog Posts by Patrick Hayes

May 26, 2014 ZW Zimbabwe

So much unrest across Africa. From the tragedy of Nigeria’s Chibok girls stolen from their school, to the violence and terror overtaking Kenya, there are forces aligned that are determined to bind ...

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May 7, 2014 ZW Zimbabwe

The story from Nigeria about the young women abducted from their school dormitory has been weighing heavy on me since the media finally started reporting on it.  I took a staff photo today of the Camfed Zimbabwe team showing their solidarity and support of these girls and their families.

We need not share a name for them to be our daughters and sisters. We need not share a continent for them to be our countrymen and kin. We need not share a god for them to be our angels. They are all of ours. Write the Nigerian government. Write the White House. Write your elected...

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Apr 24, 2014 ZW Zimbabwe

"It was a very long journey,” he said in summation, his hands wrapped around his coffee cup and his tone as if weary at the memory. “Yes. It was a long journey, and a difficult journey,” I replied. I shifted my weight, now out of habit. “But it was an important...
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Apr 5, 2014 ZW Zimbabwe

I push the button and the black steel door slides across its tracks, revealing morning traffic and fallen rusty flowers from the nearby Flamboyant Tree.  Every morning it’s the same, as I start my 30-minute walk to the office.  For the next 2 kilometers, I wind...

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Mar 11, 2014 ZM Zambia

After three weeks in the field, I’ve just completed my ten Borrower Verifications for Kiva’s Field Partner, Zoona. I’ve traveled from the capital city, Lusaka, as far north as the Tanzania border at Nakonde, and as far south as Victoria Falls in Livingstone. With at least 3,000 km behind me, and 100+ hours in the field visiting with the entrepreneurs at the very heart of Kiva’s mission, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible and resilient individuals, and had the privilege of hearing their stories. What has made Kiva’s platform so compelling and successful is the power of... Continue Reading >>