Friday, February 24, 2012

Week in Review: Let's Talk About Connections

The Week in Review is a new feature we'll bring you every Friday to keep Kiva's fans and lenders up to date with news on microfinance, global development and all things Kiva from the previous week.

All month we've been thinking and talking about making connections. We spend a lot of time talking about the borrower-lender connection, but that’s only the beginning. We are continually exploring and developing ways to expand our community’s connections with each other and around the world both online and offline.

Our meetup community and lending teams enable lenders to find each other through geography or mutual interest, meet offline, and magnify their lending. At the beginning of the month, our New York Lending Team hosted a wine fundraiser, successfully raising a $340 donation for Kiva and loaning another $1,400. And this Sunday, the Sydney Kivans are hosting an event through meetup. Check meetup to see if there's a Kiva club in your area or start your own!

We are delighted by the growing number of teachers using Kiva in the classroom and students starting Kiva campus clubs. This week, Kiva co-founder, Jessica Jackley spoke at a sold out event at Arizona State University (photos to come!), and next week we plan to bring you some stories from teachers using Kiva as a teaching tool. If you are a teacher using Kiva in the classroom or a student with a Kiva club we would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at

Would you like to feel more connected to Kiva's headquarters in San Francisco? The Daily Muse featured our office as an inspiring place to work and snapped some great photos of the people, dogs and unique features that make our new space thoroughly Kivan.

Connecting people is at the core of Kiva's mission, so translating -- both literally and metaphorically -- our borrower's stories is a key aspect of what we do. Our Fellows, who are on the ground working with our partners and meeting the borrowers, help us to understand unique needs and to help "translate" those needs and circumstances so our lender community can relate, understand and connect. Our review and translation team employs hundreds of volunteers who do the actual translations of the borrower profiles. It is an incredible and timely endeavor, so when we heard this TED talk about how these annoying security codes...

...are helping to digitize books, providing a new way to learn a language, and helping translate the internet -- we were inspired.

How has Kiva helped you feel connected? Let us know at

Photos courtesy of Tatiana Valerie, The Daily Muse, and brunkfordbraun.