Hello! My name is Jake Jeran and I am currently a rising junior at Belmont University, studying Social Entrepreneurship with a minor in classical percussion. I was born in Indiana but spent almost ten years of my life in Turkey, watching my parents dedicate their lives to missionary work. This has embedded a love of global travel and interest with cultural diversity. Since my return to the states I have traveled to some of the most poverty-stricken parts of India with my church, sharing the word of God and loving those who have nothing. These experiences shaped who I am today.
Because of the caste system, India has been under a strong social divide of classes for centuries. In places like India one of the main things that I found that divided cultures was the improper distribution of education. This is why I chose to dedicate three months of my summer to work on a microfinance project in Arusha, Tanzania. Similar to India, women in outskirts of Arusha have little to no opportunity for proper education.
I will be spending a great deal of my time educating young women on how to run and sustain their small business ventures. A lot of their businesses have already been started, so I will work to teach better bookkeeping, accounting, and marketing skills, which will further sustain their businesses for generations to come. Along with this, I will be allocating micro-loans to these village groups, which they will pay back interest free over a period of time.
At the end of my trip I have dedicated 10 days to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which is located at in Moshi, Tanzania. Rising at almost 20,000 feet above sea level, this trek on one of the world’s tallest mountains will definitely be an experience that I will never forget. I am extremely grateful for the Lumos Foundation and this opportunity to serve these women in Tanzania. I hope to use this experience to further shape my global perspective and my vocation in life.