With a network of around 775+ Fellows from 96 countries specializing in a diverse array of professional fields, many Atlas Corps Alumni and current Fellows are making inspiring progress with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is time to celebrate the achievements of our amazing network and share advice on how we can all do our part to protect and support each other.
Today we want to talk with our Fellow Awuor (Class 36, Kenya) who is providing microfunds in over 80 countries with her host organization, Kiva Microfunds. Awuor’s work is especially important because approximately 1.7 billion people worldwide do not have a financial account. Providing capital to entrepreneurs improves the individual’s standard of living and boosts the economy as a whole.
Thank you, Awuor, for everything that you do to create a better future and ensure decent work for people across the world. We wish you all the best with this impactful work!
Name: Caroline Awuor Onyuka
Home Country: Kenya
Host Organization: Kiva Microfunds
Role at Host Organization: Strategic Partnerships Fellow
Social Issues that you have worked with: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Tell us about your current organization?
I manage the strategic relationships with foundations, family foundations, individuals, international organizations, and corporate organizations to increase their participation in bridging the financial access gap for the unbanked population. My role includes developing an 80-country partnership development work plan, supporting partnerships maintenance and relationship development, tracking and reporting on partnership development, and reporting on the outcomes.
During my Fellowship I also created the “Thank You Videos” project to express the gratitude of our borrowers. Every year, Kiva gives an opportunity for its employees to visit their borrowers to learn first hand the impact of their work. I took that chance to request staff to take videos of borrowers in the field with the caption of “thank you” from the borrowers in their local dialect. These videos are now being used in a package to donors to express our gratitude for their support.
Why is it important for you to work with these social issues?
The World Bank estimates that 1.7 billion people worldwide do not have access to any form of financial account. Under the current equilibrium, these unbanked individuals are unable to access formal financial products and services. Without access to formal financial products and services, these individuals are unable to access credit which can be invested in their small-scale income generating activities. Financial inclusion unlocks more opportunities including the ability of people to save their cash so that they can make future investments or respond to unforeseeable risks.
It’s really important to me that we create opportunities for these people to better themselves financially and, therefore, improve their standard of living. Access to banking and financial services is just one example of the many barriers that produce inequality across today’s world. By expanding financial access, we’re able to unlock new opportunities for our borrowers and change the trajectories of their futures.
How has Atlas Corps contributed to your professional/ personal accomplishments?
Atlas Corps has provided me with a platform to pursue my dream of working for one of the pioneer crowdfunding organizations. I have been able to network with different organizations working to solve some of the world’s challenges. The network of Atlas Corps Fellows and Alumni that I’ve been introduced to has truly been the highlight of my experience thanks to all of the brilliant minds that I have met.
What message would you like to send to individuals who are thinking of supporting Atlas Corps?
Dreams are universal, opportunities are not. Thank you for supporting my dream, our dream of working towards making the world a better place for the next generation.
Atlas Corps Fellows continue to serve in the U.S. and remote, and we reaffirm our commitment to building a network of global leaders, even- and especially- in these times. We need your help to overcome the operational challenges that Atlas Corps faces so we can continue our critical work of training the social change leaders that this world urgently needs. As a special initiative of Bonus Day on July 15th, donations of $100+ will be matched! Will you support our Fellows?