Since 2007, the Kiva Fellows Program has offered over 600 individuals a rare opportunity to put their skills to work in support of global microfinance. Applicants chosen for the program serve as Kiva’s eyes and ears on the ground, working directly with microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other field partners in over 80 countries around the globe, and with new initiatives such as Kiva Zip in Kenya and the U.S. The Kiva Fellowship is an unpaid, volunteer position designed to increase Kiva's impact and to offer participants a unique insider experience.
Applications for our 29th class are now open! Accepted fellows will attend training in January 2016 and serve for 4 to 12 months as a Kiva Fellow. The deadline to apply is September 27, 2015. For more information on the application process or to see dates for future classes, please click here.
What do Kiva Fellows do?
Fellows serve many vital roles for Kiva. They expand Kiva’s impact by building key relationships and transferring critical knowledge to their host Field Partner or Partners, help Kiva develop sustainable practices by utilizing their individual skill sets to improve current Field Partners processes. Kiva Fellows working with Kiva Zip act as a direct connection to communities, where they promote Kiva Zip, identify Trustees and borrowers, and play a leading role in data analysis and evaluation to optimize and increase the scale of the initiative.
Fellows share their insights, pictures and stories from the field with the more than 1 million Kiva users. In short, they provide invaluable support for Kiva’s mission of connecting people through lending to alleviate poverty.
To learn more, you can:
- Read more about the role and responsibilities of Fellows and download the full job description
- Read a collection of blog posts by past Kiva Fellows about the work that they completed
- Stay updated on the latest Kiva Fellows news by following us on Twitter
There are no 'Typical' Kiva Fellows
If you take a few minutes to look over the bios of past Kiva Fellows, you’ll notice something - there’s no such thing as a typical Kiva Fellow. Over the years, MBAs, filmmakers, professionals transitioning careers, lawyers, public policy researchers, consultants, financial planners, firefighters, engineers, and veterans of the Armed Forces have all succeeded in the role and contributed in their own way. Fellows range in age from the minimum of 21 to over 60 years old.
A Truly Global Program
Kiva currently has active partnerships with more than 200 microfinance institutions in over 80 countries, while Kiva Zip is currently active in Kenya and the United States. Fellowship placements may occur at any of these locations, but availability is dependent upon partner need and the ability of a fellow to successfully complete assigned tasks. As such, individuals that express high degrees of geographic flexibility are more likely to be selected for a placement. High proficiency or fluency in a language spoken by a Kiva field partner is highly desirable, however, a large number of fellowship positions are available for English-only speakers.
The Alumni Perspective
Individuals who successfully complete their fellowships are highly valued members of the Kiva family and will join the dynamic network of 600+ Kiva Fellow Alumni who continue to make change around the world. We've been proud to learn that the Kiva Fellowship has been a defining life experience for many of our participants and that it has paved the way to great jobs, new companies, and continued learning. Find out where alumni are today, and how the Fellows program impacted their lives.
How to Apply
Please visit our application guide to learn more, and start your application here!