Sunday, March 22, 2009

KIVA - the easy way to help the world

I just received another notice from KIVA. I received partial payments on my micro-loans and so I had accumulated over $25 in my account and could turn around and lend it again.

Most people have heard of micro-loans and so had I but it took me awhile to find time to investigate. When I found out how really easy it is to loan money to entrepeneurs around the world, I was truly amazed. I currently have 8 loans outstanding in such diverse places as Mozambique and Cambodia, but each loan is only $25. This same $200 keeps recycling from one small business person to another. As the loans are repaid, the money can be loaned out again.

This is one-to-one. No politics. No corrupt governments taking the aid. The repayment rate is extraordinary since each loan is administered for free and local to the business person.

$200 is not a lot of money to us. To any of us, even now. But to Thanh Thi Vu in Vietnam, a loan of $450 allowed her to buy pigs and sedge for her mat weaving. In addition to harvesting wheat twice a year, this income supports her and her three children. Her loan is already 67% repaid.

For my lender photo, I used a picture of my mother as a young woman. In her journal, read after her death, she wrote, "I hope our kids are very generous, when it comes to worthy causes. All the good you do comes back into your own in some form."

Find an entrepeneur you can identify with and loan them some money to make their ambitions reality.

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