In addition to earning my Doctorate in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at The University of Denver, I spend much of my time overseeing the development of Ekkekko International, a student-operated non-profit microfinance institution staffed primarily by students and faculty from Illinois State University.
Ekkekko has recently gained full IRS approval as a 501(c)3 organization, and has developed the staff, expertise, and infrastructure to provide non-profit sustainable Microfinancial services to clients in Peru shortly, with plans to eventually extend our areas of operation throughout South America and beyond. Ekkekko enjoys minimal operating costs because it is entirely staffed by volunteer students and faculty from Illinois State University and other institutions. We developed the organizational infrastructure to operate as a MFI in Peru by engaging in charitable projects in the area of Lima, Peru, before we became a lending institution. These charitable (non-lending) projects tested our organization's ability to send staff to areas of operation, assess and select projects, legally and transparently raise and transfer appropriate funds, and oversee projects from initiation to completion.
Ekkekko is particularly interested in the innovative application of sustainable development technologies like micro-generation, energy, utility, and sanitation co-operatives, and the adoption of environmentally and economically sustainable technologies for client use. We are in negotiations with prospective investors, and seek to collaborate with other public and private sector entities that have expertise in the area of technology-leveraged sustainable development.
Ekkekko sends volunteer staff to our areas of operation annually through staff involvement in established Illinois State University study-abroad programs. This enables us to provide excellent hands-on experience in international microlending to student volunteers, while maximizing benefits for cost. When our organization has matured, we will seek associations with students and faculty in study-abroad programs at other educational institutions, in other areas of operation.
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