Saturday, May 26, 2012

Featured Volunteer: World Traveling Translator Arabella Pollack

“I’ve never come across another volunteer community like Kiva. I never feel like just a nameless person to the staff or other volunteers. The support and community I’ve experienced is really something extraordinary and I feel so fortunate to be a part of it.”

City: New York, New York
Language: Spanish
Translation Team: Saliendo Adelante
Time with Kiva: 1 year, 7 months
Outstanding Contributions to Kiva: In just over a year and a half, Arabella has proven to be a superstar translator, reviewing a whopping 1127 loans! She is a great presence on our Volunteer Forum.

Why do you choose to volunteer your time with Kiva?

I saw on Kiva’s website that volunteers were needed, and it was very fortunate timing. I was in a time of transition from my life in the corporate world to starting my own business, and had more time in my schedule to volunteer. Volunteering for Kiva is a way for me to use my language skills and give back to the Kiva community in addition to being a lender.

What is your favorite Kiva Field Partner or region?

I love to see loans from places I’ve visited, but I find loans from the Cuzco region in Peru particularly fascinating. Although they live in a major tourism region, the people there have somehow managed to really maintain their traditional values, culture, and way of life.

Tell us about a memorable profile you have reviewed.

Just last week I came across a profile of a man who was requesting a loan to pay for his niece’s cleft palate surgery. It was a real reminder of how much we can take for granted, and I was touched by the huge effect this loan would have on this child’s life.

Where is your favorite place in the world to travel?

I love to travel; I’ve been to over 70 countries! I have a soft spot for Asia, as it’s the first place I ever traveled on my own. However, Ethiopia is one of the most extraordinary, yet misunderstood countries I’ve ever visited. It has a stunning countryside, amazingly rich heritage, art, and culture, and the people are incredible. I tell everyone I know to visit.

Tell us an unusual or surprising fact about yourself.

I'm one of six children, and we are currently living in five different time zones and 4 countries. My parents instilled in us a love of travel, but never anticipated this is what would happen as a result. Another fact that I’m very excited about is that we are expecting our first child this July!
Learn more about the amazing work volunteer translators and editors do to empower people around the world with Kiva, and how you can help at

Also, the Review and Translation Team at Kiva is currently accepting applications for volunteer Team Leaders. Apply by June 18th at

Brianne Sherman, Review and Translation Program Intern