Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Starting 2012 with Kiva goodwill
I ended 2011 with one of my favourite tasks on my to-do list: make a new Kiva loan. I chose this young man named Ruben in El Salvador to be the recipient of my next $25 loan - he was looking for a total of $500 to purchase more feed for the cattle and pigs he raises. His loan has now been fully funded and I imagine, as has been the case with all of my Kiva loans to date, he will pay it back on time, hopefully get some good benefits from being able to improve his small farming business, and I will have the money back to lend again to somebody else. Great system, right?
In the process of making this loan, I checked up on some statistics. It turns out that people I've referred to Kiva through this blog have now made a total of 52 loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Some of these are groups of people so we've helped probably close to a hundred people! I should give a big shout-out to my schoolfriend Simone who was the one who put me on to Kiva in the first place - good on you, Sim!!
When I travel, I'm very aware that I'm part of a pretty small percentage of the world's population who have the time, money and ability to travel, and that makes me extremely fortunate. When I travel to developing countries then I'm much more aware of that and feel both confused and somewhat helpless about how to help. Kiva seems a great solution to me as it helps people help themselves which seems a much more sustainable way to improve things.
If you're interested in trying out the Kiva loan scheme, take a look at all the great info at Kiva.org - and the blog posts written by Kiva Fellows are fascinating too - and considering joining our Not A Ballerina loan team - you still make your own loans in the same way but we can see together how much we are helping out.