One of the many ways our lenders get involved in Kiva is through our community of lending teams. Lending teams are self-organized groups built around common interests, affiliation, or location, where team members rally to support loans and track their collective impact. Each lending team has team captains who go above and beyond to keep members engaged and ensure the team achieves its lending goals. In the next few weeks, we’re spotlighting a few of these team captains for their commitment and leadership.
Meet Elias, team captain of The Mindful Bunch. His team got started in late 2014, and has since blossomed into one of the more active and involved communities on Kiva. Read on to hear about how his team has come together to make a huge impact through Kiva!
How did you get involved with Kiva and this team?
I once heard Muhammad Yunus, the pioneer of microfinance, make a speech, and I fell in love with the idea of microlending to alleviate world poverty. I searched for online tools that I could use to join this movement and I found Kiva, the most successful microfunding organization in the world. The Mindful Bunch started as an experiment to encourage family members to take an interest in microlending and, at the same time, to teach them the benefits of Mindfulness and gratitude.
What is your favorite memory as member of The Mindful Bunch that you would like to share with the Kiva community?
My favorite memory is definitely the time on The Mindful Bunch when, for the first time, over 40 Mindful members came together to save a loan that was in danger of expiring. The messages of support, love and help among the team members were awe-inspiring, and they have left a very fond memory in my heart. This now happens often on TMB, but the first time was the one that stuck with me.
What do you like about being a team captain of The Mindful Bunch?
The best thing about being captain is all the lovely messages I get from the members. They are all really an amazing bunch of people, full of heart and soul. I feel we are like a family now. My everyday life has changed in a very positive way because of them.
What do you believe makes a good team captain?
It is easy for me to be a good Team Captain for The Mindful Bunch. John Lennon said it best, "All you need is love!"
Who do you like to lend to? And who does your team like to lend to?
The members of TMB have great confidence in the ability of Kiva to choose great Field Partners, and in their ability to pick the right borrowers for us, given the circumstances in each of their own countries. So we almost never see a loan we don’t like, never see a borrower we don’t want to help. I do not initiate too many loans myself. I listen to our team members and follow their lead with most of my loans. With nearly 1,000 members scouring Kiva’s site every day for loans that move them in their hearts and minds, I am entirely safe in following their leadership! I regard The Mindful Bunch team members as MY captains!
Sheldon is a native of the Bay Area. She graduated from Georgetown University where she studied Psychology and Education. While at Georgetown she was the co-founder of Strive For College, a mentoring program for low-income high school students in the Washington, DC area. After graduating, she moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where she worked for Grassroot Soccer, a non-profit HIV prevention organization. Sheldon has a love for travel and is passionate about international development. She is excited to be a member of the Community Support team and gain more experience in the nonprofit setting. In her spare time, Sheldon loves spending time outdoors, hiking, running, and being with her friends and family.