The war on poverty is my kind of war and I’ve found a way I can wage war and win.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of microloans but Kiva.org has a kind of microloan I’ve never heard of before. You and I can be the lenders and we can lend as little as $25.00.
Kiva partners with microfinance institutions that screen entrepreneurs in impoverished communities and, through Kiva, individuals can sponsor these entrepreneurs for as little as $25. The microfinance institutions don’t have the resources to fund many loans but they are experts in picking borrowers.
Here’s a diagram from Kiva.org of how it works:
The individual entrepreneurs are listed with their pictures on the website along with their plans for the business they want to start or expand. Once you pick a business, you receive journal updates on the business’ progress. It usually take about six to 12 months before the loan is repaid.
A Kiva loan would make a wonderful Christmas or birthday gift. You make a loan on behalf of the person you want to receive the gift. Then, when the loan is repaid, they get the money. If they choose, they can recycle their gift from you into a loan to another individual. Now, that’s a progressive gift!