Hurray!! I've finally got around to doing something that I've been promising myself I would do for awhile now. As with so many things in life, we put it on the back burner and it stays there. But alas, I have made my very first loan on Kiva!
Meet Tarcila. She's an entrepreneur who owns a furniture-making business in a small town in the Philippines called Ilagan. For over two years now, she has been selling household furniture within her local community. Tarcila plans on using the loans to buy raw materials to make more furniture and hopefully expand her business.
For those of you who don't know what Kiva is or how it works, let me give you a quick run down. Kiva is a non-profit organization that facilitates the lending of money (with a 98.79% repayment rate!!) through the use of the Internet to microfinancing insitutions in various developing countries around the world. These microfinancing institutions then lend the money to small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. As for how it works, here's a pretty simple diagram that explains the process.
Now why Kiva? Because I firmly believe in sustainability, in empowering people to lift themselves out of their dire living conditions by giving them both an opportunity and a platform to do so. The people living in these developing nations are some of the most resourceful and intelligent people our world has to offer and they are the very people we should and need to be investing our money in. It is they who will ultimately alleviate poverty for themselves and for their communities.
So if you've got some dough to spare, make a loan today...it's easy peasy and you'll be doing some real, tangible good! Visit www.kiva.org today!