Kiva Personal Statement

13 Sep

PERSONAL STATEMENT – KIVA FELLOWS APPLICATION

My name is Micaela Browning, and I am a Masters candidate in International Development (with a focus on Development Economics) at Tulane University in the United States. I am writing to express my interest in doing a fellowship with the Kiva – an organization for which, as a student of the international development discipline –  I have acquired deep admiration and respect.

As my area of focus within my discipline is Development Economics, I am interested in accumulating hands-on knowledge of microfinance in action; I

do not believe simply reading about Kiva and its various iterations in a textbook is sufficient. A fellowship with Kiva would not only allow me to gain a far deeper understanding of microcredit in practice, it would also expose me further to the realities of developing-world poverty.

Although my three years of experience living and working in the developing world (Chile and Brazil) – along with current academic undertakings – has provided me with a solid understanding of the developing world’s development challenges, I desire a deeper and more practical skill set to accompany my more theory-based knowledge domain, particularly in regards to microfinance, small business development, and poverty reduction strategies in non-OECD countries.

As my academic and professional focus has centered primarily on developmental constraints of informal settlements in Brazil, I feel it is indispensable for me to expand my knowledge domain to a different region of the world, so that I can effectively compare and contrast microcredit schemes across nations and regions.

Given the looming 2015 deadline for the UNDP’s Millennium Development Goal 1 – Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger-  an increased, improved presence of microfinance and conditional cash-transfer programs in the developing world is indispensable. I believe that, through a fellowship with Kiva, I can make a valuable contribution to both the organization and its clients, resulting in improved agency and opportunity for world’s “bottom billion.” It may be an idealistic statement, but seemingly small efforts from devoted development students such as myself can have a considerably larger effect on sustainable human development; even if I directly impact the life of one borrower during my time with Kiva, I know that my actions will have a multiplier effect, indirectly improving the livelihoods of the borrower’s kin, clients, and community alike. Indeed, it is only through the dedicated efforts of organizations such as Kiva that the eradication of extreme poverty will soon be a phenomenon of the past.

Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to speaking with you.

Best regards,
Micaela Browningg


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13 Sep

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