Brianna Gillease

Brianna, a Bay Area native, was born and raised in Sonoma County. She attended the University of California Davis, where she earned her B.A. in International Relations with an emphasis in Peace and Conflict Studies, an area focus in Africa and the Middle East and a minor in French. In 2012, during her junior year at UC Davis, she studied abroad in Paris, France. She lived with Laurence de Saint Sernin, assistant to Senator del Picchia and first cousin of politician Dominique Villepin (previous Prime Minister of France, Foreign Minister of France and 2012 French Presidential Candidate). This offered Brianna a unique perspective on the 2012 French Presidential Election. She was at the Bastille, an important symbol of the French Republic, the night Francois Hollande was elected president. As for her professional experience, Brianna has worked as a Global Ambassador for ISA (International Studies Abroad), creating and maintaining a blog to inspire other students to study abroad with ISA. She also has international nonprofit and social entrepreneurship experience. As an undergraduate, she worked with Nourish International, a nonprofit organization on campus, which uses money raised by social businesses developed by students, to support poverty reduction projects in the developing world. In 2013, she helped fund a project to build schools for underprivileged youth in Moshi, Tanzania in partner with Brown University and international NGO Mama Hope. In her free time, Brianna can be found seeing live music, spending time in nature (especially by the ocean), cooking, laughing, going on adventures, pinteresting, confusing people with her perpetual sarcasm and spending time with family and friends. She is excited to begin this journey with Kiva and is looking forward to using her passion, experience, and education to make a positive difference in the world and to learn more about microfinance and sustainable development.

Kiva Blog Updates

May 5, 2015 KV Kiva HQ
iSchool Zambia
Zambia

Revolutionizing education in Zambia

Who are they?

iSchool Zambia is a social enterprise working to change the education system in Zambia. The company has copied the entire Zambian primary school curriculum (in English and the 7 local languages) on Android tablets they...
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Apr 24, 2015 KV Kiva HQ

On April 24, 2013, more than 1,100 garment workers were killed and 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Even though there were fears the building would collapse, garment workers were pressured to remain at work under threat of 1 month’s lost pay.

The disaster in Dhaka brought new awareness about the terrible working conditions for garment workers. People were saddened and outraged, so in an effort to improve working conditions for garment workers and bring more transparency...

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Apr 23, 2015 KV Kiva HQ


Kiva and Dr. Bronner's, the family-owned company that makes the most popular brand of natural soap in North America, are kicking off an exciting new partnership called Seedlings for Small Farmers!

Starting April 23, Kiva will crowdfund 0% interest loans to support smallholder farmers in Ghana who grow certified organic and fair trade oil palm  used in Dr. Bronner’s soap. And, for a limited time, Dr. Bronner's will match each loan made to these farmers.

Dr. Bronner's sister company, Serendipalm, manages the sourcing and supply of... Continue Reading >>
Apr 14, 2015 KV Kiva HQ

The students at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory are taking their education into their own hands. An avid group of Kiva supporters from the school are reaching out to Kiva borrowers in their hometown of San Francisco to learn more about the impact of microfinance.

Abi Basch is a social... Continue Reading >>
Apr 1, 2015 KV Kiva HQ

Crédit Epargne Formation (CEFOR)
Madagascar

Supporting first-time borrowers and vulnerable populations in Madagascar

Who are they?

Crédit Epargne Formation is a microfinance organization that targets first-time borrowers and impoverished families in the Analmanga region of Madagascar. The organization has developed a social categorization ranking in order to reach the most vulnerable groups. They also provide... Continue Reading >>
Feb 19, 2015 KV Kiva HQ



Here at Kiva, we are constantly trying to learn about the world around us, dreaming about visiting new places, meeting new people and trying new things. We know that you, as Kiva lenders, share a lot of the same interests, which is why we started a series featuring some of the top can't miss things to do and see in countries around the world. 

Our next spotlight is on New Zealand. We asked family, friends and of course, our seasoned Kiva travelers for their best tips for enjoying mythical Middle Earth. Read the full post at Medium  Continue Reading >>
Feb 18, 2015 KV Kiva HQ
Réseau de Micro-institutions de Croissance de Revenus (RMCR)
Mali

Supporting women entrepreneurs in francophone Africa

Who are they? 

Réseau de Micro-institutions de Croissance de Revenus is a French NGO that provides microloans to underserved communities in rural Mali. It focuses on making financial services available to women borrowers and fostering an entrepreneurial culture in order to support economic development. The organization also offers borrowers a unique opportunity to gradually... Continue Reading >>