Today I'm going to blog about Kiva.org. Kiva is a website that connects people from around the world: lenders and low-income entrepreneurs, in order to help alleviate poverty. I think they call it micro-finance. The way it works is pretty cool: you log on and get to choose someone to lend money to. The minimum loan is $25.00 - not a huge sum - but it can be life-changing for the borrower. The borrower then pays back the loan and you get Kiva credit, which you can then turn around into another loan for another borrower. I've made 8 loans so far, from an initial $100 loan. Only one of my loans partially defaulted. It's too bad and it is a risk, but I can afford to lose it more than the recipient can. I just made my 9th loan, loaning another $25.00 to a woman who is a seller of souvenirs in Mongolia. She will pay it back over time and then I'll re-loan it to another woman. And so on.
In these difficult economic times, it's hard to send money so far away when so many in our area are needy, but if you have some time and want to check it out, cruise over to http://www.kiva.org/ and see if a budding entrepreneur there piques your interest.