Mariana Oom

Mariana was born in Lisbon, Portugal. She is passionate about travelling and always eager for new experiences in new cultures. No wonder Mariana pursued an international career at the Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency (AICEP Portugal Global). For more than a decade, she has been dedicated to the promotion of Portugal and the Portuguese companies and products around the world. Her last assignment was as the Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Consulate General of Portugal in Macao, P.R. China, cumulating with being the Portuguese Delegate at the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries (Forum Macau). Previously, Mariana helped open and run the Agency branch in San Francisco, CA. She returned to Portugal as a desk officer for South America and Spain. Earlier positions and jobs were in marketing and international business. Mariana graduated from Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa (ISCTE, Lisbon) in Business and Administration Management, and studied at Glasgow University under the EU/Comett II program. After travelling to developing countries, she feels the need to contribute to a fairer world. She is taking a sabbatical to volunteer as a Kiva Fellow and is thrilled to working with field partners in Peru, Bolivia and India.

Fellows Blog Posts by Mariana Oom

May 14, 2014 IN India

Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.” – UN WOMEN Few people will argue about the importance of women empowerment, and its positive impact in society and economy, but what is the gap between studies and speeches and what’s really happening on the ground? The election scene in India brought up new discussions about women's rights like safety... Continue Reading >>


Apr 28, 2014 IN India

Ten miles is a short distance for most of us, but for some women and children in rural India it means isolation from the rest of the world and probably during all their lives. When I visited Parandih village in the District of Deoghar, Jarkhand, with Kiva Field Partner MicroGraam and their partnering NGO MESP, we were a big group caching the attention of many villagers. Being the only non Indian, for most kids I was probably the first foreigner they’ve ever seen. This rural village of a hundred homes, like many in India, is not all that far from the main district town, 10 miles... Continue Reading >>


Mar 25, 2014 IN India

All across India, women are taking an active role in creating better living standards for their families. Far from any cosmopolitan city, the village of Anawal is located in a rural area of the Bagalkot District, north of Karnataka in India.  Similar to other local villages, Anawal has a population of few hundred families striving to make a living in the harsh conditions of a hot semi-arid climate and working mainly in the nearby agricultural fields. This is where I met a wonderful group of women, who, with the help of the local NGO Future Greens Samsthe and MicroGraam, learned... Continue Reading >>


Aug 8, 2013 PE Peru

A few days ago, I went to visit Mrs. Francisca at her Cevicheria accompanied by Karla and Ninoska, Kiva Coordinators at Asociación Arariwa . For those wondering, a Cevicheria is where cheviche is served – a traditional Latin American dish typically made of fresh raw fish and/or seafood marinated in lime, with chopped onions and chili peppers, additional seasoning may be added. If it is not “picante” (hot) it is not cheviche! So they say. Francisca’s place is simple. From her house, near Cusco’s airport, Francisca prepares the ceviche and... Continue Reading >>


Jul 22, 2013 PE Peru

Imagine instead of dollars you were lending corn cobs, in return you would get ceramic pots or miniatures for your kids, no repayment schedule. Maybe a headache for Kiva and Paypal, or maybe not, since Kiva’s talented people will never cease to surprise us. The challenge is on! Throughout Andean towns, villages and communities, el trueque does the trick - a system of exchange by which goods are directly traded for other goods without using a medium of exchange, such as money. El trueque is... Continue Reading >>