Monday, November 26, 2012

Meet Lana Balyk: Program Coordinator - Granada Region

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since our last blog post, and I apologize for that. Tons of amazing things have been happening over the past few months, and we're excited to share it all with you. We issued our 200th loan this September, filed our first 990 report with the IRS, hosted a successful fundraiser 5K, expanded to another new region of Nicaragua, and did tons more. 

We'll have more details on all of this later thanks to a team of volunteers and interns that we're currently developing. I've interviewed over 30 candidates, and  one of the folks that will be joining us this winter is Lana Balyk. Lana is a wonderful candidate, and we're really looking forward to the impact that she's going to have on our programs in the Granada region.

Here's a little introduction from her. I hope you enjoy.



My name is Lana Balyk, and I will be joining People Helping People Global for five months this winter as Program Coordinator. I am going to be based in Granada, where I will be helping coordinate PHPG’s micro-lending program. I am looking forward to working with a micro-lending organization, and the hands on experience that will come with it.

I live in Calgary, Alberta, where I did my B.A in History at University of Calgary. I recently completed my M.A in Human Security and Peace building at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. This program focuses broadly on international development, as well as conflict resolution. I have long been interested in micro-finance, and the self-sufficiency and sustainability that it encourages. As I went through my studies I knew that I wanted to work in that field to determine if micro-finance is an avenue I would continue to explore for my long term career goals.

As part of my program, I had a semester in Uganda, where I also was able to do a research project in a refugee camp. Last year I did a six month internship in Ecuador, doing research on livelihoods of Colombian refugees with an organization named Cemproc. I also did volunteer work with the Colombian Refugee Project while I was Ecuador to gain more practical experience. I have also studied and done research and volunteer work in other parts of Latin America, as well as East Africa.

I am excited to have a role in PHPG’s work in Granada this winter, and to get to know how a grassroots micro-lending organization operates. I am excited as well for the opportunity to live in Nicaragua, and get to know and explore another area.

I arrive in one week, so updates will be following shortly!

Lana Balyk