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Happy Bondi’s Kiva Team: The Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Team

 On April 11, 2007, I made my first loan of $25 to a dairy farmer named Afag in Azerbaijan.  After 16 months, I received my $25 back.  Afag, despite very primitive conditions, was able to repay the $1,000 that had been loaned to her from the pooling of funds from lenders through out the globe.  How is this possible?  Kiva, a non-profit whom I am sure most of you have heard of by now, connects people through lending to alleviate poverty.  Kiva leverages the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions.  It’s an amazing thing, because someone like me can lend a small amount of money and when combined with others it can make a difference in someone’s life.

 By 2009 I had made many $25 loans that were repaid over time.  I would take the money that was returned and relend it again.  So the initial $25 would turn into another $25 loan and another as it was repaid.  In 2009 I decided to start a lending team on Kiva called the Human Rights and Humanitarian  Law Team.  When I was in law school at The American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., I was fortunate to be a Dean’s Fellow for the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.  As a homage to the Center, I named my Kiva team the Human Rights and Humanitarian  Law Team.  Since its beginning the team has made 183 loans and has 10 members.  The total amount loaned to date is $5,150.00.  Although certainly not millions of dollars, these loans signify participation in helping people around the world.  In fact, loans have been made by the Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Team to 43 out of 78 countries currently served by Kiva through microlending institutions.

 Today, I am beginning a new chapter of life with Happy Bondi.  If you would like to be a part of the Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Team on Kiva please come and join the team.  The team is open to everyone and we would love to have you on “our” team.  You can find out more about Kiva at  http://www.kiva.org  and about the Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Team at http://www.kiva.org/team/humanrightsandhumanitarianlaw