Trista Li, KF25 in Chicago
"Every time we sell out!" - Nate
"My happiest moment is when I realize, I am here. Because every now and then I can get caught into the day to day stuff. But it is truly precious to be able to do what you love with your best friends." - Danny
"When we sold 300 patties in 2 hours!" - Henry
Niaz Patwary, KF25 in India
Kavya Gowda is working as a Loan Processing Executive at MicroGraam, Kiva's local Indian partner. At 18, she has an incredible life story to tell. Before her 2nd birthday, she lost both of her parents in two separate dreadful incidents. Her grandparents Huchaiah and Chandrama raised her. Her grandparents did not go to school and are doing housekeeping jobs, but aspired Kavya to dream big.
With exceptional grades, Kavya finished high school (colloquially known as college, or simply "12"). Beside her native Kannada language, Kavya learned to read, write and speak fluently in English. Right after high school, when her fellow classmates were enjoying vacation before varsity life, Kavya started at MicroGraam as an Intern. Kavya taught herself to use the computer and be good at it, too. A short-term internship became a 10 months long test before she could prove herself worthy of the position of a Loan Processing Executive. Since then, she has been a productive personnel at MicroGraam family, where her contribution is greatly valued.
Getting the full time job was a dream come true not only for her but also for her grandparents. However, the happiest moment of her life was experienced by her when she got herself admitted to an evening program at a local college to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Kavya never lost sight of her real goal - to be educated and to be learned. Even a long day's work doesn't curve her exuberant energy; she wears her helmet, starts her bike and off she goes for class. By the time she joins her grandparents for dinner - it is usually 9:30 pm. Kavya finishes her homework, hits the sack and dreams again for a beautiful "next day".
Best of luck for your ever-so-brighter future, Kavya. You are an inspiration!
Shannon Kossick, KF25 in Ghana
This past week I went out to the field to observe a loan disbursement with over 100 women in attendance. There were four groups total, and with each group, I had the opportunity to chat with and photograph the featured borrower. I asked every single one what their happiest moment was before photographing them and received the same passionate and wholehearted response from each: they are happy that Kiva has supported them in obtaining a loan to further their businesses and thus take better care of their families.
Now, I can understand that a visit from a Kiva Fellow coinciding with a loan disbursement is an opportune time to ask this question. I therefore later on in the week asked my counterpart at my current field partner, Nathaniel, while we were eating lunch what his happiest moment was in memory. (You should know that he can be somewhat of a jokester during most hours of the day.) He replied by saying that it was definitely taking a treasured friend to lunch at...Treasure Friends...the name of the restaurant we were at.
Well played, Nat. Well played.
Emmanuel Block, KF25 in Kenya
" Being a farmer is what makes me the happiest" - Oleshya
Mary Jo Halder, KF25 in Washington DC
Mary Ellen's stall at the Penn Quarter FreshFarm market is quite popular. People flock to 'the Lettuce Lady' for the wonderful heads of lettuce, herbs, and microgreens she grows. The latter were supported in part from a Kiva Zip loan that allowed her to expand her operations.
She describes her happiest moment as right now.The weather in DC--around 70 during the day and upper 50s to mid 60s Fahrenheit at night--is perfect for her lettuce crop. She can let it "do its photosynthesis thing" at night and blossom into the crop people seek out at the market. In turn, good production and weather keep her team excited and in good spirits, and she feels happiest when her team is happy. This manifests itself in her excellent product and her wonderful, cheerful attitude, and it's clear that consumers in DC see that each week.