Since 2007, the Kiva Fellows Program has offered over 400 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 our microfinance institution (MFI) field partners in over 60 countries around the globe. The Kiva Fellow is an unpaid, volunteer position designed to increase Kiva's impact and to offer participants a unique insider experience.
Applications for our 22nd class are now open! Accepted fellows will attend training August 26-30, 2013 and serve for 4 to 12 months as a Kiva Fellow. The deadline to apply is May 26, 2013. 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 MFI, help Kiva develop sustainable practices by utilizing their individual skill sets to improve current MFI processes, and they 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.
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.
While these individuals represent a broad array of perspectives and skill sets, the most successful fellows do share some attributes. They are all humble, talented and adaptable.They all strive to make the most of every situation, and they are prepared to work through challenges to sustainably impact our field partners.
A Truly Global Program
Kiva currently has active partnerships with more than 160 microfinance institutions in over 60 countries. 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 450+ 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.