When I first heard about the Kiva Fellows Programme I knew this was something I wanted to do. My recent experiences have taught me to follow my instincts and if I feel passionate about something, to pursue it. This mentality can transpire in many facets of life. My recent work and travels in the developing world have opened my eyes to a range of issues, and opportunities for improvement. As a civil engineer from New Zealand, while I do not exactly match Kiva’s criteria, there is no doubt in my mind that my skill set could be of use to Kiva and the entrepreneurs they are helping.
The main reason for my application can be attributed to my recent work in the Philippines. For the last 8 months I have been stationed in a site office in Davao, Southern Mindanao working on feasibility studies for hydroelectric projects. As I progress further into my career, I realize that my personal satisfaction and enjoyment, in this role, can only be fulfilled if I believe in the end product. Being an engineer has taught me a way of thinking, of analyzing situations and thinking how can we improve this? From an engineering viewpoint you may list subjects such as sustainability, renewable energy, environmental awareness, or carbon neutrality. From an economics viewpoint, you may mention microfinance. My work in the Philippines encompassed a few of the ideas mentioned above, specifically renewable energy.
My work in Davao has been as much about the people who have touched my heart as it has been about the engineering. The Filipinos have an appreciation for life that is overwhelming. They are constantly giving thanks for what they have, but at the same time they each have their future aspirations. More often than not however, they have no means to turn these dreams into reality. These are exactly the type of people that Kiva target and because of this I have an immense amount of respect for what Kiva is trying to achieve. I have a strong people focus and believe that happiness comes from fulfillment of one’s dreams. Thus the idea of giving people increased opportunities to pursue their dreams really appeals to me.
I feel strongly about wanting to get this role because just as Kiva allows the developing world a chance to follow their dreams, I believe becoming a Kiva fellow is about following my own dreams and desires for what I wish to achieve on this planet.