For all those who have succumbed to playing the late night trivia game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, you know it is based on the assumption that any actor can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon within six steps. The game is a play on the network idea “Six Degrees of Separation” that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth.
What I have come to realize week one into my placement as a brand new Kiva Fellow is Kevin Bacon is to Hollywood as Kiva Fellows are to the world of microfinance. Our role is to facilitate connections between Kiva borrowers, Kiva lenders, partner microfinance institutions, and the team at Kiva.org. As Kiva Fellows, we play a pivotal role in Kiva’s mission to “connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty”.
Our multiple responsibilities working with various key stakeholders include:
-Writing blog postings and borrower journals to connect borrowers with lenders
-Working in the field helping our partner MFI (microfinance institution) leverage its partnership with Kiva
-Developing rich borrower profiles and verifying client waivers to protect the confidentiality and dignity of our borrowers
-Supporting the mission and continual improvement of Kiva.org
I feel privileged and honored to serve as a new Kiva Fellow in the Philippines with partner Ahon sa Hirap, Inc. Hopefully, I, together with my devoted KF10 classmates can challenge the “Kevin Bacon” game and connect people in less than six degrees of separation for the “sake of alleviating poverty.” It’s a small world after all.
Thank you for joining my journey.
For all those interested in becoming a Kiva Fellow, click here.
Christina Reyes is a KF10 Kiva Fellow serving her placement with Ahon sa Hirap (ASHI) in the Philippines. As a first generation Filipino-American, she feels especially honored to pay it forward in a country so close to her heart.