Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Give back

Today I'd like to share a really great organization named Kiva that I first heard about last year, while reading Kari's blog. I was really interested in participating, but as time went by I forgot about it, until I saw a post by Kim a few weeks ago.

Kiva's tagline is "Loans that change lives". Their "about" page says the following:

Kiva's mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.

Kiva was born of the following beliefs:
  • People are by nature generous, and will help others if given the opportunity to do so in a transparent, accountable way.

  • The poor are highly motivated and can be very successful when given an opportunity.

  • By connecting people we can create relationships beyond financial transactions, and build a global community expressing support and encouragement of one another.

Kiva promotes:
  • Dignity: Kiva encourages partnership relationships as opposed to benefactor relationships. Partnership relationships are characterized by mutual dignity and respect.

  • Accountability: Loans encourage more accountability than donations where repayment is not expected.

  • Transparency: The Kiva website is an open platform where communication can flow freely around the world.

As of November 2009, Kiva has facilitated over $100 million in loans.

I don't know about you guys, but I think that's pretty darn cool - a whole bunch of people coming together all over the world to help out those in need, by giving as little as $25 a pop. Such a small sum for us can make a world of difference to someone else. So I decided to make my first Kiva loan to a woman in Ecuador who was hoping to purchase seeds to plant beans and rice. She has 8 months to repay it back, at the end of which I'll be able to recycle my initial investment and loan it to someone else. It's a gift that keeps on giving!

A Fistful Of Dollars: The Story of a Loan from Kieran Ball on Vimeo.



Blogger catharsis said...

Kiva is AMAZING. I've done three loans and had incredible experiences every time. I recommend it for everybody!

September 18, 2010 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

There are a few organisations like that. I blogged about another one, awhile back. I didn't try it then being strapped for cash, but it's a great idea.

Nice to know catharsis has had such a good experience too.

September 19, 2010 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Just delurking long enough to thank you for this post--money is tight with two kids but we were looking for a simple way to give back and you just provided it! We chose to help a girl in Paraguay with her university tuition. Thanks so much!

September 20, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

That's so awesome Erin! Nice choice too, I'd been hoping to help someone in the education category, but there weren't any when I looked.

September 20, 2010 at 2:18 PM  

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