Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kiva

By far, one of my favorite Christmas presents was a Kiva card from my aunt. I'd never heard of Kiva but now that I have I'm so addicted.

From Kiva's website:
We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Learn more about how it works
So basically people ask for a loan for a specific amount of money, say maybe $300, to buy seeds so they can grow vegetables to sell. I used the gift card I was given to loan $25, then a bunch of other people can choose to help that borrower until they get the $300 they asked for. Eventually, they pay back the loan and Kiva gives the money to you in credit  so you can choose another borrower to make a micro loan or you can cash it out and get your money back.

How cool is that?!

My first loan was to Felicitas, in the Philippines. A loan of $500 (of which I gave $25) helped Felicitas buy fertilizers and herbicides to apply to her vegetables. There's also a short bio on her and her family. Based on the repayment schedule, it looks like Felicitas was able to pay off the loan early!


I chose to use the $25 and make another loan. this time I chose Telnaz from  Georgia. A loan of $1,700 helps Telnaz to begin a clothing business.
Telnaz is 43 years old. She lives in the Gardabani District with her daughter. Telnaz has requested a loan from local financial institutions several times for a family start-up business, but without any success. Her loan requests were rejected repeatedly, because of her family's low income and poor living conditions.
 Telnaz is involved in agricultural activities. She has a plot of agricultural land, where she grows different kinds of vegetables. She sells the harvested products at local markets. It is hardly enough for food for the family. According to Credo estimates, the family belongs to the subsistence poor category.
With this loan, Telnaz will begin a clothing business. She plans to purchase clothing at wholesale prices and then resell it at higher prices. This will increase her income and she will be able to provide better living conditions for her daughter. The new business initiative, financed with the Kiva start-up loan, will significantly improve the living conditions of the family. 

I love the feeling that I'm making a difference in someone's world. I feel so much for people but sometimes I just don't know what to do to help. Kiva gives you a chance to help in a way that may seem very small to you, but could mean a complete change in someone's life in a different part of the world.

I can't wait until the Bambinos are old enough and we can pick people to make micro loans together. I think when they start getting allowance, we will also put some money in a separate piggy bank that can go toward Kiva loans or some other good cause.  I want them to understand how fortunate they are, and know that even small gestures mean so so much.
 

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3 comments:

  1. Wow! Such an amazing organization! I've never heard of it until now. Thanks for posting on this, im def going to look into being a part of this! :)

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  2. Lindsay, this is amazing! Definitely one of my favorite posts from you ever. I didn't know about Kiva but now I am totally invested. I definitely want to get involved, and I just said to Matt that we should get Jasper a card for his 10th birthday this year so that he can choose to help someone. I love things like this that are affirming about people in the world. We hear so much bad stuff that once in a while, I need to be reminded of human goodness.

    I love you!

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  3. Now, this is completely awesome. Love this. I love a gift that gives....yesss!!!

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