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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why I want to be a Nest Summer Fellow

I want to be a Nest summer fellow because I am passionate about poverty alleviation and am extremely curious to see how development works on the ground. As a student at UC Berkeley who is pursuing the Global Poverty and Practice Minor, I have learned about the history, theories, and debates surrounding global development. During this past semester, I have particularly learned a lot about microfinance. I have read articles and discussed the ideas behind microfinance, even its critiques. However, I would really like to take my knowledge of microfinance further by working with an organization that practices one of its many forms. Nest is the ideal organization for me because it operates by a unique micro-barter model and is particularly oriented towards female artisans and their crafts based enterprises.

I have known since the beginning of high school, after watching the movie "Hotel Rwanda," that I want to work towards making the world a better place. I understand that this desire is naive, and I learn everyday that "doing good" is not easy. Even with all the good intent in the world, it is never guaranteed that you are making lasting positive change. What is really necessary is careful evaluation, analysis, practice, and more. The task of poverty alleviation is not easy; poverty has been all around us for a very long time and it is not new. Although it is important to study the history behind anti-poverty programs, I cannot help but think that actually doing it is equally if not more important. I am tired of studying and reading about development. I want to finally be a part of this history, the movement behind poverty alleviation and making the world better, by being a Nest Summer Fellow.