Sunday, April 4, 2010

Month 1: Jonathon Stalls' KivaWalk across the US

Jonathon Stalls has completed the first month of his KivaWalk cross-country adventure! He wanted to update the Kiva community on his trip, how he is raising awareness about Kiva, and his personal reflections from his journey thus far.

Update from Jonathon Stalls
April 3, 2010

What an adventure!
- Just over ONE month on the road
- Close to 450 miles across Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, & Ohio
- Stayed with 20 incredible host families (3 of which are Kiva lenders already

Kiva Awareness:
With a 50 lb pack, a large ‘WWW.KIVAWALK.COM’ sign, and Kanoa’s wolf appearance with the occasional bright NEOPAWS booties, we truly are a slowly moving light show for Kiva (rain or shine). The walking pace allows for all ages and variations of people to become a part of this journey. Literally thousands of people have already been exposed to the Kiva name by driving past us as we trek through their community. Experiences in meeting and interacting with locals, reporters, and the odd traveler are abundant and incredible. People have been consistently receptive to Kiva’s mission and are peaked with curiosity every time we talk about the organization.

This trip is truly a pilgrimage in planting seeds of change through the Kiva lens. The microfinance model is powerful and when people are exposed to it for the first time they are awe-struck by the ‘idea’ and are then excited when they find out they have intimate access through Kiva. With 122 KivaWalk Lending Team members (w/about 50 who are NEW to Kiva) & almost $40,000 in loans so far, I would say this is a budding success!

I want to note that creating a strict schedule for events and/or speaking opportunities makes the organic flow of this journey somewhat stressful; therefore, I have opted to contact schools & community groups a couple days prior to arriving. While this dramatically decreases potential opportunities to speak to large groups, it increases the quieter and somewhat ‘deeper’ exposure to host families and those I encounter on the road. All of that said, we have presented to several wonderful classes/groups and are more than open to creating more opportunities along the way.

Our next goal is to organize an event or two in Cincinnati, OH during the weekend of April 17th. Cross your fingers and contact me at if you want to help!

On-Foot Reflections:
Having used the tent only ONCE in 33 days, I am astonished, comforted, and more open than ever to the hospitality that resonates within the homes of so many Americans. I have found so much joy in what I feel is a consistent craving for positive ‘shared’ experiences from locals. Planting Kiva’s mission is making to be an incredible compliment to all of these exchanges as it truly challenges and inspires thoughts on how ‘we’ think about capital.

Thank you to the Kiva community for ALL of your support along the way. I can’t imagine doing this without it!

Press about KivaWalk:
The Cape Gazette

The Kent Island Bay Times

The Herald-Mail

The PA Observer-Reporter

We wish Jonathon continued success on his trip and will provide updates to the Kiva community along the way! You can also follow Jonathon's trip on his KivaWalk website.

**Disclaimer: Please note that the KivaWalk website is operated and monitored by Jonathon Stalls, and is independent of, and not affiliated with, Kiva Microfunds (“Kiva”), including its website ( Kiva and “Kiva Walk” are two separate and non-affiliated entities, and any transactions an individual may decide to make through or for KivaWalk or otherwise for Jonathan’s trek—whether financial or non-financial—would be solely for the benefit of KivaWalk and would not be for the benefit of the Kiva organization.