What are you doing in Perú? What´s Kiva?

Dear Friends and Family and Readers,

As some of you already know, I recently was awarded a fellowship with Kiva.org – an online microfinance organization that connects people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.  I’m very excited to participate in the program – I’ve always loved to travel and international development has been a passion of mine for a long time.  Through this fellowship I will have the opportunity to work with Kiva’s microfinance partner in Peru, supporting impoverished women in rural regions of the country for three months.  As a Fellow, I will be facilitating connections between lenders and borrowers by interviewing small business owners in Peru and posting updates about the effect of micro-loans on their lives and well being.

More on Kiva:

Kiva is unique! It is the onlymicrofinance organization that allows individual lenders (like you and me) to lend directly to entrepreneurs in developing countries.  Since its inception in 2005, Kiva has enabled lenders to send over $43,000,000 to the working poor across the world.

And this is not charity!  Kiva lenders make 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs – small business owners in developing countries that don’t have access to conventional sources of capital in their country.  Over the course of a year, entrepreneurs pay back the loans in small increments.  After entrepreneurs pay back the entire loan, Kiva lenders can retrieve their capital or they can roll the money into a new loan to a new entrepreneur.  Click here to learn more about Kiva.

On the Kiva Fellowship:

The Kiva Fellowship program has a huge reach.  Kiva sends Fellows to Sudan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Honduras, Cambodia, Samoa, Gaza, Azerbaijan, Bali, Bolivia, Cameroon, and Peru and many more countries.
On October 15th, I and 30 of my fellow Fellows 😉 will be deployed to six continents to work with Kiva’s microfinance partners there.  I will be working with Kiva’s Manuela Ramos – CREDIMUJERprogram for the next three months. I will travel initially to Lima but will be based in northern coastal province of La Libertad for the first 1.5 months and then in the Amazon River basin for the last half of my trip.  I’m so excited to interact with borrowers to learn more about microfinance.  I would love if any of you loaned to one of the CREDIMUJER borrowers; I would certainly interview her over the course of the fellowship and would be able to send you updates about your loan’s progress and impact.  Loan to CREDIMUJER here.

Thanks for reading.  I can’t express how excited I am to be a Fellow and to meet and learn about the people of Peru.  I did want to share with you all what I will be doing for the next few months.  Please look out for updates from me from the field!  And thank you in advance for your support…

Want to Support Me?

While the Kiva Fellows program provides a small travel stipend, I will be responsible for living and housing costs, immunizations and in-country transportation.  Anything you could give, big or small, to help me fund my fellowship would be so appreciated.  And you can use your credit card!
Love and thanks,
Support me by:
Credit Card (via PayPal):  click here
Or, Check sent to-
Jennifer Ballen
655 Steiner St. #103
San Francisco, CA 94117


One comment

  1. Hey Jenny,

    Nice blog! I’ll be reading up on your experiences in Peru!

    Take it easy,

    John Robinson

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