My story This year, I left my job to pursue my passions and am thrilled to have been selected as a Kiva Fellow. While I'm still waiting to hear in which country my Fellowship will take place, at the end of June I'll be heading out to work in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, a very enclosed, very rural country in West Africa (ranked 161st out of 169 countries on the UN Human Development Index) setting up a Kiva Partnership with NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde, to help their local network of small-scale entrepreneurs access financing via Kiva lenders worldwide. What is Kiva? Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Through the Kiva.org website, individuals from around the world can log on to lend as little as $25 to entrepreneurs across 59 countries who otherwise would not have access to traditional banking systems. Kiva sends 100% of the loans to local microfinance institutions, like the one I will be working with, who administer the loans in the field. For those not familiar with the Kiva Fellows program, the Fellows serve as a link between Kiva's headquarters and the local microfinance institutions. The position is designed to increase Kiva's impact and to offer participants a unique insider experience into the impact and realities of microfinance. I will spend at least 10 weeks in the field working with one of Kiva Field Partners - interviewing lenders, helping with operations, writing borrower updates, and blogging about my experience behind the scenes with Kiva and microfinance. You can read more about the Kiva Fellows program here:http://www.kiva.org/about/fellows-program/ Where you come in As the Kiva Fellows Program is an unpaid, volunteer position - no stipend or housing is provided - Kiva expects its fellows to fundraise for the entire journey. I'll be working in Burkina Faso, which is a land-locked country in West Africa, small and poor and unfortunately, VERY expensive to fly to from Canada! As you can see from my draft budget below, expenses really add up - I don't know how I could do it without you guys!! Your generosity is so very much appreciated! $1000 airfare to San Francisco for training week $4000 airfare to host country, plus taxes and fees $150 Visa estimate $350-550/month accommodations $450 malaria pills $1,845 food (123 days x $15/day) $500 local transportation (buses, taxis, etc) $450 mobile phone and internet $250 misc supplies (mosquito nets, sleeping bag lining, etc.) These are my minimum cost estimates but I'm hoping to be able to cover anything else that comes up. For the flights, I'm going to try to get airmiles donations if possible via milepoint. If you are in a position to contribute to my work as a Kiva Fellow, I would be grateful for your consideration and support. Other Ways You Can Help Donate offline If you would prefer to donate offline, please email me at diana.biggs@gmail.com for a mailing address for a cheque. Buy me a Kiva gift certificate With the Kiva gift certificate, I can lend to a Kiva borrower and as the loan is paid back, I can withdraw the money to put towards my Fellowship expenses. This support Kiva borrowers as well as my Fellowship. Find my lender page here: http://www.kiva.org/lender/diana1770 I realise not everyone is in a position to contribute financially, but that doesn t mean you can t help! Share my campaign I would be so grateful if you shared my campaign with your friends, family, colleagues, community groups, rich uncles, or anyone else who enjoys supporting a great cause! My fundraising efforts can reach an infinately broader audience with a click of your button - made even simpler by the Indiegogo share tools for Twitter, Google+, Facebook and email links. Introduce me to locals If you know anyone in the area where I'm posted, I'd love to be put in touch! Join Kiva for free! This doesn't directly support my Fellowship but it supports the Kiva cause and micro-entrepreneurs globally - which is good enough for me! A generous donor has placed money with Kiva in order to individuals new to Kiva to try it out for free, using $25 of his donated funds. To sign up and give Kiva a try at no cost to you, click here: http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/diana1770 Come visit me!! Yes, as mentioned, Burkina Faso is expensive to get to, but maybe for you Europeans, an affordable flight from London could be possible?? Would be so great to have you! Thank you all so much for your support, I can't tell you how much it means to me! x

My story

This year, I left my job to pursue my passions and am thrilled to have been selected as a Kiva Fellow. While I& 39;m still waiting to hear in which country my Fellowship will take place, at the end of June I& 39;ll be heading out to work in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, a very enclosed, very rural country in West Africa (ranked 161st out of 169 countries on the UN Human Development Index) setting up a Kiva Partnership with NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde, to help their local network of small-scale entrepreneurs access financing via Kiva lenders worldwide.

What is Kiva?

Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Through the Kiva.org website, individuals from around the world can log on to lend as little as $25 to entrepreneurs across 59 countries who otherwise would not have access to traditional banking systems. Kiva sends 100% of the loans to local microfinance institutions, like the one I will be working with, who administer the loans in the field.
For those not familiar with the Kiva Fellows program, the Fellows serve as a link between Kiva& 39;s headquarters and the local microfinance institutions. The position is designed to increase Kiva& 39;s impact and to offer participants a unique insider experience into the impact and realities of microfinance. I will spend at least 10 weeks in the field working with one of Kiva Field Partners - interviewing lenders, helping with operations, writing borrower updates, and blogging about my experience behind the scenes with Kiva and microfinance.
You can read more about the Kiva Fellows program here:
http://www.kiva.org/about/fellows-program/

Where you come in

As the Kiva Fellows Program is an unpaid, volunteer position - no stipend or housing is provided - Kiva expects its fellows to fundraise for the entire journey. I& 39;ll be working in Burkina Faso, which is a land-locked country in West Africa, small and poor and unfortunately, VERY expensive to fly to from Canada!

As you can see from my draft budget below, expenses really add up - I don& 39;t know how I could do it without you guys!! Your generosity is so very much appreciated!

$1000 airfare to San Francisco for training week
$4000 airfare to host country, plus taxes and fees
$150 Visa estimate
$350-550/month accommodations
$450 malaria pills
$1,845 food (123 days x $15/day)
$500 local transportation (buses, taxis, etc)
$450 mobile phone and internet
$250 misc supplies (mosquito nets, sleeping bag lining, etc.)

These are my minimum cost estimates but I& 39;m hoping to be able to cover anything else that comes up. For the flights, I& 39;m going to try to get airmiles donations if possible via milepoint.

If you are in a position to contribute to my work as a Kiva Fellow, I would be grateful for your consideration and support.

Other Ways You Can Help

Donate offline

If you would prefer to donate offline, please email me at diana.biggs@gmail.com for a mailing address for a cheque.
Buy me a Kiva gift certificate
With the Kiva gift certificate, I can lend to a Kiva borrower and as the loan is paid back, I can withdraw the money to put towards my Fellowship expenses. This support Kiva borrowers as well as my Fellowship. Find my lender page here:
I realise not everyone is in a position to contribute financially, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help!

Share my campaign

I would be so grateful if you shared my campaign with your friends, family, colleagues, community groups, rich uncles, or anyone else who enjoys supporting a great cause! My fundraising efforts can reach an infinately broader audience with a click of your button - made even simpler by the Indiegogo share tools for Twitter, Google+, Facebook and email links.

Introduce me to locals

If you know anyone in the area where I& 39;m posted, I& 39;d love to be put in touch!

Join Kiva for free!

This doesn& 39;t directly support my Fellowship but it supports the Kiva cause and micro-entrepreneurs globally - which is good enough for me! A generous donor has placed money with Kiva in order to individuals new to Kiva to try it out for free, using $25 of his donated funds. To sign up and give Kiva a try at no cost to you, click here: http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/diana1770

Come visit me!!

Yes, as mentioned, Burkina Faso is expensive to get to, but maybe for you Europeans, an affordable flight from London could be possible?? Would be so great to have you!

Thank you all so much for your support, I can& 39;t tell you how much it means to me! x

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