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What Motivates Me to Become a Kiva Fellow February 16, 2010

Posted by rosalindrobinson in Uncategorized.
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I have worked in entrepreneurial environments all my life, and appreciate the courage and imagination and intelligence it takes to make a small business work. The concept of microlending has fascinated me ever since I became aware of Mohammed Younis’ work several years ago. I have also followed women’s issues for many years, as my own feminist consciousness became raised. So the Kiva model became a perfect blend of these two interests.

As a child I was an ‘Army brat,’ living in Germany, and later in Spain. When I was 30 I took off across South Asia for ten months by myself, when that was still possible. Travel is in my blood, as are cross-cultural interests.

I am moving to Nepal this spring with my Sherpa husband of 19 years. (A cross-cultural achievement of monumental proportions!) We intend to stay there for several years, as long as the political situation remains reasonably stable. As I have no intention of “retiring,” I want to get involved in meaningful work. I note that your Field Partner there, the Patan Business and Professional Women, have not had a Kiva Fellow yet, and I’d like to explore working with them and documenting their successes–which seem significant just judging by their numbers. We plan to set up house somewhere in the Boudanath area of Kathmandu, and Patan is a taxi ride from there.

My background in marketing includes writing, email marketing, and web site management. I’ve also prepared and tracked budgets and managed offices, so I’m not a financial neophyte. I have limited experience with video, but plan to buy either a flip-cam or larger set-up before we depart. I own a Sony Vaio laptop. We’re not rich, but we’ll have enough income to live comfortably in Nepal, so will not require fundraising to support my work there. I’ve already planned for a crash course in Nepali. (Sherpas’ Nepali is so heavily accented that I’ve likened it to a rural Mississippi accent, which has discouraged me from investing much time on it.)

I’ve visited Nepal three times, spending a total of about 8 months there. The people have always held more appeal than the scenery, and their trials during the last several years have been heartbreaking.  Now the country has a chance to pull itself together, and I’m “cautiously optimistic” as the diplomats say. It would be a privilege to participate in a small way in their development.

Blogging is a new experience for me personally. I’ve managed company blogs and commented within blogs, but now I’m out there myself. I’m looking forward to this Great Experiment! February 15, 2010

Posted by rosalindrobinson in Uncategorized.
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