Friday, June 17, 2011

Kiva Ecosystem :: Kiva Lender

The reason for Kiva's success is no secret. Kiva has seen such amazing growth thanks to involvement from such a large, vibrant community of participants. At Kiva, we like to call this our 'Ecosystem'. The Kiva Ecosystem is made up of infinite components. We have chosen 10 contributors of the Ecosystem that we think give a great view into some special parts of how Kiva works. This post will look into the life of a Kiva Lender, Caitlin. Learn about why she chose to lend, start a lending team,  and involve her friends in Kiva!

Hi! I’m Caitlin and I’m excited to share my story, while knowing it likely pales in comparison to many of the amazing tales you all surely have. But life itself is one great story, weaving us together, bit by bit. Here is just a little taste from my chapter.

I started lending with Kiva for a few reasons. I have always had a desire to help others and believe in seeking to empower and walk alongside those in need rather than giving blindly. I learned about microfinance in general from my dad, who is incidentally one of my heroes (and also a fantastic dancer). Check out those moves! →

I learned of Kiva specifically from my friends Emily and Henry, who are also heroes of mine in the way they choose to live their lives (and it’s their fault that I have worms!) So many people in my life have a heart for others, and much of the way I choose to live my life is inspired by the amazing people who have crossed my path thus far.

I have also always felt a deep passion for international partnerships and a love for growing in cross-cultural awareness. I believe that this world and the people in it are calling out to be known.

Another one of my great loves is running. As my story continued, a way to intersect these two great loves was found. A few summers ago, my friend Chrissy and I decided to run 50 races, in 50 states, by the time we are 50. You can check out my blog about this goal here. It has been an amazing journey so far but never seemed quite meaningful enough. I wanted to reach beyond myself.

I knew I wanted to use my goal as a way to help others achieve their goals but was not sure the best way to do this. Then I thought of Kiva. Why try to start something new when there was already an organization out there that was making dreams come true in really meaningful and responsible ways? As I have been inspired by others throughout my life, I could now use my goal to inspire, encouraging others to give, making new dreams come true. It’s all becoming a big spiderweb of inspiration and encouraging dreams!

My blog is now linked to my kiva group lending page and I send updates to friends and family with each race I run, encouraging them to give, so we can meet a new goal: lending to 50 people in 50 countries by the time I achieve my 50 in 50. It is small, but I have always believed it is better to start small than to not act at all. Perhaps as the dream moves forward, it will grow, and the number of people involved and impacted will increase.

Join us if you’d like!

And keep pursuing your own dreams, remembering that we are all moving forward together as actors in this great story, tied up in each other’s well-being.