You Can Save The World, You Can Change A Life | Micro Lending With Kiva Loans
What's All This About?
A quick, simple and very poignant guide to Micro Finance and the very real difference it makes to those who need it most. Those who do not want charity, those who wish to lift themselves from poverty through enterprise.
I don't know about you guys, but somedays opening my eyes to the world is an incredibly depressingexperience. Everywhere you look, some jackass is killing someone forsome stupid reason, some demented egomaniac is murdering his ownpeople, millions of people are starving, millions are suffering andmeanwhile you sit in the relative comfort of your own privilegedexistence feeling for some reason, a little numb to it all.
When there's nothing to really fightfor, life looses a little of its edge. The world most of those whoread this article have grown up in is one that encourages thatnumbness. We're bombarded with images of terrible things far away andit seems like the best thing to do is just put your head down, switchon the television and hope that you still have a job tomorrow.
But a little part of you wants morethan that. A little part of you was born for more than this, it wasborn to do good. There's a reason why our popular media is saturatedwith hero figures, they play out the fantasies of doing good thatmany of us have long abandoned any real hope of realizing. We livethrough them vicariously, but we don't have to, we can do more.
Kiva is one way we can do that. What isKiva? It is a micro-lending enterprise. Simply put, you log on, youmake an account and you immediately see a list of people indeveloping countries who need to raise money for entrepreneurialprojects. You choose one you think is worthy and make a small(usually $25) loan. That loan goes towards the total balance requiredfor that project, and 100% of that money is guaranteed to reach theintended recipient. Kiva does not take a cut for running the project,instead it offers you the chance to add a small amount to your loanamount as a donation (tax deductible in the USA) to keep Kivarunning.
Over time, your loan is repaid by therecipient. There's no guarantee of this of course, but so far thedefault rate is under 2%. When the loan is repaid, you can choose tolend the money again, withdraw it, or donate it. You can make as manyloans as you wish. There is no financial return to be gained on aKiva loan, simply the knowledge that your money helped someone in thedeveloping world live their dream.
If you so choose, you can receive emailupdates on how the loan recipient's project is progressing.
A few projects open at the time ofwriting:
Denkoma (Sierra Leone)
Manama (left) is the leader of this group. Manama is a farmer and a petty trader. She has been a farmer for ten years now and will use this loan to buy seeds for cabbages and groundnuts, etc. She usually buys these seeds either from Kabala town or in Freetown. Manama was born in Heremakono village. She is 29 years old, married to a road constructor and they have five children together. With this loan, she will be able to increase her farm acreage and generate sufficient funds to look after herself and the children.
Narciso Viscaya (Philippines)
To have an abundant harvest and
farming machinery is the ultimate dream of Narciso Viscaya, a
44-year-old farmer from Bunawan, Agusan Del Sur. He has been tilling
the land since he was just a small kid. His father taught him
everything about farming from sowing the seeds to harvest. Now, he is
tilling a 1 hectare farm to support his family.
Coming from a poor family, he wants to make their life better and to be progressive. He wants to make his farm more productive and he can only achieve that if he is able to buy the needed fertilizers and chemicals for his farm. He wants to borrow 10,000 PHP. This will be enough to improve his harvest.
Rose Nyame (Ghana)
Rose Nyame sells doughnuts, which are
normally served with porridge and eaten as breakfast in Zion in Cape
Coast. Rose has received a junior high education. She is married and
has six dependents.
Rose has been selling doughnuts since 1999. She is responsible for paying the children's school fees, clothing, utility bills and other family expenses. Her loan will be used to buy more flour, sugar, vegetable oil and other ingredients to enable her to increase the production of doughnuts. She hopes to use the new profit from her business to support her husband in saving towards acquiring a piece of land on which to build a house for the family.
Mr. Vanseng Sok Village Bank Group (Cambodia)
The village bank, which consists of
fourteen members, is located in Thma Kor village in Kandal province
and they plan to use the loan for different purposes.
Mr. Vanseng Sok is the village bank president who has been selected by the members. He is a farmer who owns a small piece of land near his house which he uses grow vegetables and fruits. Now he is requesting a loan to purchase fertilizer and pesticide to support his growing. His wife, Mrs. Sum Saren, makes Chinese noodles to earn an income to support the family.
Mr. Vanseng Sok is the 59-year-old father of eight children: three are laborers; another is a seller who helps his mother’s business; three are enrolled in the local school; and the youngest one is too young to work or study.
Join The Panty Vigilantes!
A team I created on Kiva.org. (For some reason it is not showing donations made prior to the creation of the team, but don't let that put you off.) Panty lovers of all genders and other assorted fiddly bits can make a difference!