Saturday, April 14, 2012

Week In Review: Big dreams can come in small packages

The Week in Review is designed to share things that we have enjoyed reading or watching, and to discuss all things Kiva from the previous week.

When George Bernard Shaw famously said that "youth is wasted on the young" he must have meant it as more of a challenge than a declaration -- and it seems young people everywhere have accepted his provocation.

The student-led Month of Microfinance is in full swing. We are continually inspired by all the students who have staged awareness and fundraising events like the students at University of Mary Washington, who tried living on $2 a day for five days, the huge turnout for the conferences at the Universities of Pennsylvania and San Diego, and the group of Claremont McKenna College students who spent 56 days living on $1 a day in Guatemala.

We see microfinance as a way to encourage people to dream big, and the internet as an amazing platform to tell stories and connect dreamers. A search through our borrowers will yield stories of men and women striving for independence, education, improved safety or shelter -- but this week we were especially charmed by two kids, Gabriel Angelo and Caine Monroy, whose dreams and talent are busting out of their tiny statures.

Meet, Gabriel Angelo, a 12-year-old tap dancing trumpet player, who serenades lucky San Franciscans to help pay for his music education at the SF Conservatory of Music and Berkeley Jazz School. This week, his talent landed him a spot on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

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Meet Caine Monroy a 9-year-old, who built a enchanting and elaborate cardboard arcade in his father's shop. His creativity and positivity is awesome.

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

It's easy to become hardened by rejection, disbelief or trying circumstances, but these kids are sweet motivation to dream, hope and smile. I know I am probably preaching to the choir. Know someone who could use a reminder? Invite them to try Kiva for free!

We'd also like to give a quick shout out to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster lending team, which just passed the $1 million mark in loans. Congratulations and thank you so much for your tremendous support. Kiva is all about community and connection, and this team is a shining example!

Did you know lending team members loan more on average? Join one today, meet some like-minded folks and pump up your impact!

Tell us about what inspired you this week

Photo courtesy of Scott Swigart.