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Kiva Lender Dr. Patrick Mendis
Washington, DC, United States
Educator and diplomat
I loan because:
These courageous micro-entrepreneurs remind me that I was like one of them when I was growing up with 13 water-buffaloes on a three-acre rice field in Sri Lanka. I know the value of micro-loan, which helped my family to break-away from the cycle of poverty caused by poor rice harvest, unpredictable monsoon, or simply being poor. A small loan could transform a person, a family, a village, and a nation.
As an AFS (American Field Service) scholar, I came to Minnesota in the 1970s to attend high school in Perham. After my government service in Washington, I returned to academia--Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University, and Harvard University. With the income from my books and lectures, I established a number of tsunami scholarships, the Patrick Mendis Prize (at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura), and the Sarvodaya Peace Prize in Sri Lanka--in addition to the Edward Burdick Legislative Award at the University of Minnesota and the Millennials Award for Leadership and Service at Harvard University. All book proceeds after income tax are donated to charity and micro-finance programs. [Photo: With Jessica Jackley Flannery, the co-founder of Kiva at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC].
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