Meet the Kivans: Eric and Monica, Fearless Leaders of Kiva Volunteers

This month, we’re spotlighting some of the amazing Kivans who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make Kiva possible.

Eric and Monica work with Kiva's volunteers who do everything from translate loans for the site to visiting borrowers in the field. Our volunteers are truly incredible, and so are Eric and Monica!

Q&A with Eric Brandt, Senior Manager of the Kiva Fellow Program 

What do you do at Kiva?
I manage the Kiva Fellows Program. Every year, we recruit, screen, and train around 100 volunteer fellows to serve with our Field Partners around the world.

What part of your job do you enjoy most?
Defining placements! That is, deciding where in the world to send fellows.

What was the hardest project you’ve worked on at Kiva?
The real challenge of this job is continuing to find class after class of talented and motivated fellows three times per year. Every class is different and presents new challenges during the placement and training process.

What’s one of your favorite memories that involves Kiva?
Conducting video interviews and sharing cacao wine with Kiva borrowers deep in the jungles of southern Belize. We had some fantastic interviews and really got to see firsthand how their Kiva loans had improved their livelihood.


Q&A with Monica Wooters, Review and Translation Program Manager

What do you do at Kiva?
I make sure that the thousands of Kiva borrower stories that come to us in Spanish and Portuguese are translated into English so that those borrowers have access to a wider global community. Kiva is only able to do this because we have a committed corps of nearly 200 volunteer Spanish and Portuguese translators around the world who dedicate their time and skills to helping borrowers and lenders connect.

What part of your job do you enjoy most?
Probably the sense of community that we, the volunteer translators and staff, have created around the amazing mission that Kiva strives towards. It's a great feeling to know that there are so many people around the planet that are working together to make this work.

What was the hardest project you’ve worked on at Kiva?
I think the hardest thing I do is work to bring more individuals onto our team of volunteer translators. We have a rigorous training program, and making sure that hundreds of people are up to Kiva’s standards is a big job.

What’s one of your favorite memories that involves Kiva?
Probably when a bunch of us Kivans went camping. It was a mess, but a great, hilarious mess!!!




About the author

Talea Miller

Talea is excited to combine her love for powerful storytelling and her digital strategy experience. She comes to Kiva from the Kaiser Family Foundation, where she managed digital strategy for the foundation's consumer-focused PSA campaigns. Prior to that she was a reporter and producer at the PBS NewsHour for five years. At the NewsHour she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the developing world as part of the program's global health unit, covering a wide range of stories including the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, doctor shortages in Tanzania and the mistreatment of the mentally ill in Indonesia. In addition to being a news junkie, Talea enjoys photography, hiking and attempting to paint. She graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Journalism and is originally from Maryland. So she also knows a lot about horses.