Friday, October 19, 2012

One Month of Less: Day 19: Invite Friends to Use Kiva

In their own words, Kiva is "a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world."

"Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. One hundred percent of your loan is sent to these microfinance institutions, which we call Field Partners, who administer the loans in the field."

"100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly towards funding loans; Kiva does not take a cut. Furthermore, Kiva does not charge interest to our Field Partners, who administer the loans."

"Lending through Kiva allows your money to go further than making a one-time donation. When your loan is repaid, you can withdraw the money or make another loan. The same funds can be loaned and re-loaned over and over again, so the impact grows over time without funding having to grow."
"Kiva is a personal and direct means of alleviating poverty and making a difference across the world today. You can browse loan requests from entrepreneurs around the globe by region, gender, business description, – and you choose who to lend to."

If you're interested in sharing what you have with someone who has less than you, you can click on the following invite link for a free $25 to lend:

So far I've made 7 loans with Kiva using the same $25. It's cool to look back and see who the money has gone to -- a grocery store in Cambodia, a restaurant in Nicaragua, a farmer in Tajikistan, and just recently a woman selling firewood in Peru. I'm always excited to get an email that the money has been paid back and is ready to lend again.

Here's part of a PBS special explaining a little more about the program:

For the month of October I'm doing one thing a day that is a step towards a simpler way of living -- less cluttered, less wasteful, less distracted. My goal through this month of less is that by taking a new step every day, I will be able to live in a way that is more organized, more stewardly, more purposeful. Read more about it here, and let me know if you're joining in!

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