Sophie comes to her Kiva Fellowship with international work experience and a commitment to serving the underserved. She gained intercultural and training expertise serving at a non-profit program in Brazil, studying abroad as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student, and conducting research on social and cultural barriers to safe sex habits in Indonesia as a Critical Language Scholarship Participant. After being exposed first-hand to the effects of poverty in developing countries, she became interested in micro-finance while serving as a capacity-building intern for the Global Women in Management workshop put on by CEDPA in Washington, DC, where many of the participants were managers of micro-finance institutions around the world. She went on to serve as the Training Coordinator at Chrysalis, a non-profit in Los Angeles that works to alleviate poverty by helping low-income and homeless individuals secure stable employment, where she created and facilitated financial literacy and career development workshops. From this varied experience in the global non-profit sector, Sophie has become passionate about helping low-income populations achieve self-sufficiency, and is thrilled to support Kiva’s mission of alleviating poverty through micro-lending as a Kiva Fellow in South Africa and Mozambique.

Fellows Blog Posts by Sophie Aigner

Mar 27, 2014 MZ Mozambique

Carlos, a single father to a chronically-ill child, is building a house with his Kiva loan so he can start a small store in his home.
When I lend on Kiva, I want to support a budding entrepreneur, someone that shows innovation in their small-scale business, has big dreams and is now able to run after them. I like to imagine that as a Kiva lender, I am a small part of a catalytic process that opens the floodgates to the borrower’s success. I lend because I want to do something selfless, however when it comes to... Continue Reading >>

Feb 20, 2014 MZ Mozambique

"It's so beautiful!" Dona Elsa stood in awe of the photo I just took of her.  Dona Elsa isn't used to being in photos, and she is especially not used to smiling in photos.  When I asked if I could take her picture, her first instinct was to stand with arms by her side; a serious, pensive look on her face without a shadow of a smile in sight.  Before taking the picture, I asked her to smile and she timidly obliged.   I took the picture and showed her the outcome on the tiny LCD screen of the digital camera. That's when Dona Elsa saw... Continue Reading >>