Sunday, January 14, 2007

KIVA

Have you ever wondered what you can possibly do on an individual level to make a positive impact on global problems? I have. In fact, I think about it a lot. What can I, one person, do that will really make life better for people in other parts of the world? It seems that there are so many problems on so many levels that it is hard to figure out what to do about any of them. It is so overwhelming that most of the time, we don't do anything at all. One of the complex issues that we hear about a lot is illegal immigration. The solution, as far as I can tell, is to help people thrive where they are. If people have everything they need at home, there will be no need for them to immigrate to other countries, legally or otherwise. I was blog jumping just now. I went to one blog then started reading the blogs the first blogger listed. After jumping from blog to blog for a half hour or so, I found the Pondering Pig. One of the sites listed on this blog was KIVA. KIVA offers a way for anyone who has an extra $25.00 to make a positive impact on the lives of people in developing countries who are trying to make a living where they are by building their own businesses.

I had $100 my dad had given to me for Christmas. It had been in my wallet since Thanksgiving. I wanted to spend it on something special, something that I would feel good about owning for a long time. When I found KIVA, I knew that it was the place for the money to go. For my $100, I was able to loan money to 3 women from Mexico and Central America. One is selling tamales to support her children since her husband lost his job and headed to the US to look for work. She needs equipment and supplies. Another sells cakes to support her self and her children since losing her husband. She also needs equipment and supplies. The other has a grocery store, which she needs to expand so that she and her husband can support themselves.

As a small business operator myself, I certainly realize just how much a little cash at the right time can mean. I invite you to go to KIVA.org


So that you can share in this opportunity. 95% of the loans are repayed. It is recommended that you divide the money you want to loan between several business owners so that if for some reason one of them cannot repay the loan, you have not lost all of your investment.

4 comments:

tammy vitale said...

Bravo...I have worked with women in microfinance in Africa, and more recently with the Web Women's Giving Circle. I believe that the repayment rate is somewhere around 95%. They charge interest, so not only are you helping 3 women, but when they repay you will be helping 3 more until you begin helping 4 more because of the interest. Truely a gift that keeps on giving!

seventh sister said...

Thanks for the info, Tammy. I hae checked out the Circle and am planning to donate to it in the near future.

Spoke said...

I love the concept of Kiva. Too often, we in the West are too worried about receipts and payback. To "loan" to people "over there", in my opinion, is money well spent! I don't want it back ever, I'll keep re-loaning it!!

seventh sister said...

Spoke, I'll keep reloaing, too. The thing about loaning as opposed to giving money to someone is that loaning provides an incentive to work better oneself rahter than just wait for another handout. There is also the dignity of the whole thing.