I’m a Kiva lender. I work with Kiva.org to
help alleviate poverty through micro-lending. I’m one of 700,000 who
have made investments as little as $25 in food shops, vegetable co-ops,
child care centers and the like, in places like Congo, Tajikistan, and
Cambodia. It’s a way to help bring political stability and quality of
life to developing parts of the world, and do so with kindness instead
of guns, drones, tanks or rhetoric.
nothing can stabilize life more than grassroots economic empowerment.
Take the economic leverage out of the hands of dictators and put it in
the hands of the people. Then see what real, honest democracy looks
Kiva … works. Those seeking loans apply and submit their stories.
Local orgs coordinate with larger orgs to complete the loan process and
fund the recipients. They sign repayment guarantees on their honor in
front of their families and communities.
lender, you don’t earn interest on these loans, but you have the
tremendous satisfaction of knowing you’ve directly and vitally changed
people’s lives for the better. As a person of faith and follower of the
Golden Rule, that’s all the interest I need.
had great success with Kiva! Since 2008, my Foundation and I have made
twenty-one loans to small groups and individuals. Most of the
loans I’ve chosen to fund are to women, or groups headed by women, and
in countries and regions where women are typically oppressed or whose
voices are not heard. I believe that when we empower women in this way,
we make the world a kinder and better place.
As of today, every cent I loaned has been repaid. To me, this is
remarkable — think of the default rate in most lending situations. The
result is that I currently have funds sitting in my Kiva account,
waiting to be re-invested. I’d like you to help me choose where to allocate it.
Here’s what I’d love you to do:
- Visit kiva.org/lend and look at the current loan requests. These are heart-rending stories of real people who want to get ahead in life.
- Leave the name of the person or group who most appeals to you as a comment on this blog. Include a blurb about why it appeals to you, if you like.
- I’ll pick the top three and make the investment on your behalf with my dollars.
- If you are as inspired as I am by the whole process, you may become a
Kiva lender yourself. It just takes a few minutes to sign up, and you
can loan as little as $25.