Jan 20, 2015 KV Kiva HQ
By Talea Miller
Kiva Community Raises $153k to Honor Inspiring Teacher

Biba, her class, and all of us at Kiva were blown away by the response to Biba's story of perseverance and spirit during a difficult battle with brain cancer. Nearly 3,700 lenders made a loan in Biba’s honor, raising $153,000 in loans for people around the world. Simply incredible.

Below is a thank you letter to lenders from Biba, who also shares the story of her inspirational students:

Several years ago, a few of my high schools students and I were sitting around after school discussing our desire to start a club that would utilize concepts we were learning in Economics including globalization, sustainable development, gender equality and community service. As we were brainstorming ideas, I remembered this wonderful organization named Kiva, based out of San Francisco that utilized crowdfunding as a means of sourcing microfinance loans all over the world. We had already studied microfinance and as we spoke further about the possibilities of opening our own Kiva Club the excitement became quite palatable.

We were the first high school Kiva Club chartered in the state of Tennessee and with about 150 students actively involved each year we have made over 147 loans to 72 different countries in less than 3 years. More importantly, we have expanded our club to include collaborations with high schools all over the world, traveled to meet microfinance clients, attended some incredible global conferences, created a socially active website, produced video documentaries, and are in the process of finishing a book written by the students that is now being considered by a publisher in English and Arabic. Along the way, we learned about life—humility, empathy, kindness, generosity and self-sacrifice (as we are a high poverty Title I school).

This past week, my students and I learned another important lesson— about the gift of love! The overwhelming love and generosity that is pouring into the funding of the Kiva campaign for “We Love Biba” has brought tears to many of our eyes (especially mine). We never did any of our work for a return but for a chance to make a difference in the world—for us to begin our journey of a thousand of miles. The fact that you are willing to join us on this journey is incredible and we can never thank you enough. All the loans that are being funded through this endeavor will make such a difference in the lives of so many for generations to come. What a great gift you have given to me, my students, and to the world!

Thank you, generous Kiva lenders, for helping us honor Biba and courageous teachers everywhere.


What an incredibly tangible way to 'take it to the streets'! Kids actually doing in the real world what they learn about in the classroom. Great teacher and a wonderful program (KIVA) making a huge difference together. She is teaching students that even one person can make a huge difference for generations. Thank you for being such am amazing teacher Biba.

It is a joy to join you, Biba, and your students in making a difference, in sharing the love in my heart with yours for all those who are brave enough to take that step to help themselves and to allow others to help them. My own story is one from coming from a low socio economic background, struggling to educate myself while I had 7 children to care for, and then watching them also choose to educate themselves and their families while helping others - they are also making a difference in the world. Thank you Biba for being an example for all of us. Lots of love to you and your students, and to the Kiva community.

I find it unfortunate that, days after sending separate e-mails to "contactus" and this blog, there is still an improper $25,000 loan request right above this message. Wouldn't it be better to keep comments on this page relevant to Biba's story?

Help me

I am married and I have two sons and a student at the university and I had started a small project, but there are people of the family did not want me success in the project and the failure of the project, but I still do have a great hope in the reconstruction project again, and I have the ambition and strong will, but I do not have enough money for it and needed amount 10000 dollars and I will fight very hard for the success of the draft, but will not see the light, but with your help, you are my only hope after God in the success of my project and thank you somuch

nos ultimos 3 anos acumulei a divida de 8 mil reais aconteceu depois que abrii um pequeno negocio de prestaçao de serviços de cargas e descargas a empresa que prestavamos serviços fechou do dia para noite preciso de ajuda meu nome Marcos c dos santos moro em goiania goias minha conta corrente banco bradesco ag 2119 conta 05004608

I have been working hard on my project of farming of vegeables,tomatoes e.t.c. The challenge is unpredictable rain circle and am in need of $750 to buy waterpump and other irragating equipments to help me farm it throughout.

i preciate by all thing

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Talea is excited to combine her love for powerful storytelling and her digital strategy experience. She comes to Kiva from the Kaiser Family Foundation, where she managed digital strategy for the foundation's consumer-focused PSA campaigns. Prior to that she was a reporter and producer at the PBS NewsHour for five years. At the NewsHour she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the developing world as part of the program's global health unit, covering a wide range of stories including the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, doctor shortages in Tanzania and the mistreatment of the mentally ill in Indonesia. In addition to being a news junkie, Talea enjoys photography, hiking and attempting to paint. She graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Journalism and is originally from Maryland. So she also knows a lot about horses.

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