Kiva Fellows Training – the jigsaw puzzle of 1,000 pieces
My name is Boris Mordkovich and I’m one of the 28 Kiva Fellows [in training] in the KF7 class. In just a few short days, I’ll be finishing up the training, getting my last-minute supplies and headed to the cold, cold winter climate of Tajikistan.
As we come to a close of our 3rd day of training, there is finally a small window of opportunity to take a breath and reflect on this week thus far. And let me tell you – there aren’t a lot of opportunities like this during the week!
The training is designed to prepare a new group of fellows for field work at their respective Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) all over the world. But this preparation is unlike any other – it’s training on steroids.
Kiva has a pretty difficult task of “training” 28 people for something like a Kiva fellowship – as everybody’s experience will be unique in many ways. The needs of the organizations we will all be working for will vary. The countries and cultures that we’ll all be visiting are different. And our skill sets also range tremendously which impacts the type of contributions we can do.
During the week, we all certainly get a chance to learn the inner workings of Kiva, its business model and how it interacts with its partners, lenders and borrowers. The training program provides a ton of information on all things Kiva. However, since we only have a week, each day winds up to be very intense. And then, the deeper you dig, the more you understand how complex and and unique Kiva’s platform is and the more questions you wind up having.
If there is one major thread that goes through every presentation and every session, its the need to be flexible and fluid. There is a lot of trust and responsibilities placed in the fellows – we are given a lot of freedom in how we are expected to do things. And that’s what, I think, will make this both very rewarding and challenging.
Micro-Finance sector and Kiva are still relatively new, so there are a lot of unknowns ahead – but as Leonardo da Vinci once said, “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
Till next time – direct from Tajikistan!