Yvonne Deane

Yvonne is an Irish lawyer who has worked for over 5 years in one of Ireland’s leading law firms. Yvonne grew up in a rural village in West Cork, where her father was a voluntary director of a local Credit Union. Inspired by a summer spent volunteering with refugees, Yvonne delayed her professional legal studies, upon graduation from university, to gain an LLM in human rights law. She saw the limitations to the ‘top-down’ approach to human rights (where states routinely enter into conventions without follow-through) and decided, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, that human rights begin ‘in small places, close to home’. Yvonne’s training was profoundly shaped by the global banking crisis. As a legal advisor to investment funds and regulated financial service providers, Yvonne has advised on the national, European and international legislation emerging from the fallout of the crisis. Yvonne hopes to use her sense of good banking practices to inform her work as a Kiva Fellow. Yvonne is thrilled to have the opportunity to assist the operations of BRAC Sierra Leone during her Fellowship, and to learn about West African culture. She is really looking forward to seeing how the loans improve the lives of local borrowers. 

Fellows Blog Posts by Yvonne Deane

Apr 17, 2014 SL Sierra Leone

Edith, a Kiva borrower, has a small wooden hair studio in Torkpoi town.
There are things we do to survive. We find work, shelter, food and pay our bills. Then there are the things we do to live. To live, we feed ourselves with the arts, conversation, beauty, sports, entertainment and nature. What a people do to live says a huge amount about them. These pursuits do not seem to cease in times of hardship; if anything they are bullishly defended. In 1994, the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra performed in the ruins... Continue Reading >>

Mar 14, 2014 SL Sierra Leone

Two years ago, back in Dublin, I hatched a plan to become a Kiva Fellow. In Africa, if at all possible. To make the dream stick, I enrolled in a development work preparatory course held on weekends in an old Georgian building. “First will come the honeymoon period,” the facilitator warned, in a class on cultural immersion. “Then culture shock, then adaptation. Finally, when you return home, there will be some reverse culture shock.” The dream stuck and the plan worked out. I have been working in Sierra Leone as a Kiva Fellow since February, helping the microfinance operations of BRAC... Continue Reading >>