A Note from HQ

16 November 2010 at 18:45 5 comments

By Jerry Harter, KF13 Indonesia

I arrived in Bali on a Tuesday afternoon and headed directly to Ubud, a town famous for its art, music, dance, and traditional Balinese rituals and ceremonies. My plan was to use Ubud as a base to recover from jetlag and to get somewhat acculturated to Asia before starting my Kiva Fellows work.

After a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast, I thought I’d explore the town a bit.  But first, I decided to check my email where I found a note from Kiva that went something like this:

Dear Jerry,
Could you drop whatever you’re doing, get on a plane to Jakarta, meet with a US State Department representative, and give a presentation at an Indonesian bloggers conference this Saturday?
With Kiva love,
Your Friends at HQ

‘Why not’ I said, and was off to Pesta Blogger 2010.

Pesta Blogger 2010

Pesto Blogger 2010 was a conference of about 1300 Indonesian bloggers sponsored by the US State Department, Acer, Firefox, Microsoft and others.  I was impressed by some of stats the State Department provided me.

  • Indonesia has the second largest Facebook community in the world
  • It has the third largest Twitter community
  • Bahasa Indonesian is the most widely used language on the blogging site WordPress.com

Participants at the conference were mostly young tech-savvy bloggers.





One of the U.S. Embassy’s top priorities in Indonesia is developing entrepreneurship.  At Pesta Blogger 2010 the State Department wanted to communicate the principles of social entrepreneurship through the Kiva experience.  Philip Roskamp, my State Department contact, noted that:

Kiva’s experience stands as a great example of how to harness the power of those who are able to make micro-finance loans and how potential entrepreneurs—who have good ideas and lack only the economic means to make them a reality—can be successful.

And so, with this background and support, I felt honored to be able to represent Kiva at Pesta Blogger 2010.

I presented at two breakout sessions in the afternoon, introducing Kiva through the website pages and a short video and then continuing with how Kiva’s Vision, Mission, and Values have guided it through tremendous growth in its short five year history.  I finished the presentation with Kiva’s 5 year birthday party video and then opened it up for questions and discussion.

From the discussion it was clear that some had never heard of Kiva before while others had been following Kiva a while.  I was quite encouraged by the strong interest that was expressed.  The promising potential of connecting people through blogging and the internet was certainly apparent at Pesta Blogger 2010.  And it was good to know that Kiva is recognized as a positive model for social entrepreneurship.

Jerry Harter is a Kiva Fellow working with Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK) in Blimbingsari, Bali, Indonesia.  Interested in adventure and alleviating poverty?  Check out the Kiva Fellows program.

Entry filed under: blogsherpa, Dian Bhuana Lestari Foundation (Dinari), Indonesia, KF13 (Kiva Fellows 13th Class), Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK). Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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  • 1. erickiva  |  17 November 2010 at 11:39

    Jerry, you are awesome. Thanks again for taking this on!

  • 2. Ivan Ledyashov  |  17 November 2010 at 11:27


    Attending conferences, meeting US State Department reps, presenting in front of 1300 bloggers in Jakarta…sounds like you’re Kiva’s secret weapon! Glad you’re having adventures within the Kiva adventure 🙂

    Ughur olsun as they say here (good luck)!

  • 3. Nick Hamilton  |  17 November 2010 at 09:48

    Wow – talk about being thrown in at the deep end!

    Hope all’s well Jerry,


  • 4. tinkgunn  |  17 November 2010 at 04:07

    This is brilliant Jerry- and amazing to have taken this on right at the beginning of your fellowship.

    Enjoy Bali!


  • 5. abanrjee  |  16 November 2010 at 23:53

    Sounds like a great experience Jerry.
    And that view from your room is amazing!

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