Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kiva.org - Make a small loan, make a big difference.

About 5 months ago, I found out about an organization, Kiva.org, that allows you to make small loans to small businesses around the globe that make HUGE differences in these people's lives. When is the last time $25 that you loaned (and will receive back) did that? It is an amazing thing!

I thought it would be fun to introduce you to the two people I support. One woman owns a crafts business in Cambodia and supports herself by weaving silk on a loom. The other woman is from the Ukraine and has a decorations shop, or what we would think of as a souvenier shop.

You can meet them here...

It has been a wonderful experience helping to empower people just like me, following their dreams while building a business to support their families.

and here is a little bit more about Kiva.org...


Kiva.org is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva.org is creating a global community of people connected through lending.Kiva.org's mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.Kiva.org 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 which exceed beyond financial transactions, and build a global community expressing support and encouragement of one another. Kiva.org promotes:
Dignity: Person-to person lending 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.org website is an open platform where communication can flow freely between the developing and developed worlds. Kiva.org democratizes philanthropy, allowing the average individual to feel like a mini-Bill Gates by building a portfolio of investments in developing world businesses.Kiva.org expects to have facilitated a total of $100 million in loans by end 2008.

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