Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Qualifications as a Nest Summer Fellow

Incorporating my position as a Nest Summer Fellow into my Global Poverty & Practice minor at UC Berkeley would provide both Nest and myself with a rather unique opportunity.  Through the Global Poverty & Practice minor, which combines a core curriculum on the analysis of global poverty with an individualized practice experience, I will first complete a preparatory course to gain background information and develop skills pertinent to my work as a Nest Summer Fellow, and I will complete a reflection course and related elective courses upon returning. This will enable me to begin the Fellowship with a clear understanding of microfinance, international development, and non-profit work, which in turn would permit me to contribute more to the Fellowship than would a typical Fellow. Apart from my Global Poverty & Practice program, my diverse experiences in international relations and development, including five years of participation and leadership in Model United Nations, internships with the World Affairs Councils of America (a non-profit dedicated to spreading awareness about foreign affairs to the American public) and the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (a local immigrant and refugee sanctuary), and study abroad experiences in Spain and Ecuador will further allow me to bring expertise, dedication, and experience to the position.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What is Nest?

About Nest:
Nest is a non-profit organization dedicated to help women create successful craft-based small businesses through microfinance loans, mentoring, and business training. Nest's unique micro-bartering approach sets the organization apart from other microfinance projects - rather than requiring cash repayment, Nest encourages loan recipients to repay their loans through products, which Nest then markets and sells in the United States.

Nest Overview from Nest on Vimeo.

 Nest Summer Fellows:
The Nest Summer Fellows program allows individuals to live and work with a cooperative of women in one of six Nest sites - India, Morocco, Togo, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, and Guatemala - for two months. As a Nest Summer Fellow, I will help to implement Nest's unique three-part microbarter model by working directly with loan recipients, organizing and facilitating workshops and trainings, collecting qualitative and quantitative data regarding Nest's microfinance activities, and generating awareness and support for Nest's activities by posting journal entries, photographs, and videos on this blog. 

Nest products: 
Visit the Nest shop to view more hand-crafted items both from loan recipients as well as from U.S. designers, with all proceeds supporting Nest's mission and activities. 

Anjali Laptop Case (India)

Nadia Tote (Morocco)


Elie Elephant (Togo)