kiva.

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on December 11, 2011

in Uncategorized

For the month of December, I donated $28 to an organization I’ve been a part of for a few years now, Kiva.

So, what exactly is Kiva?

We are 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. (source)

What I love about Kiva is that your donation is one that keeps giving.  When you donate, it’s not to Kiva, per say, but to low-income businessmen and women around the world through microfinance.

Microfinance is also the idea that low-income individuals are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty if given access to financial services. While some studies indicate that microfinance can play a role in the battle against poverty, it is also recognized that is not always the appropriate method, and that it should never be seen as the only tool for ending poverty.  (source)

Through microfinance, people who live in low-income situations or don’t otherwise have access to the typical banking system are able to take out smaller scale loans to support their business efforts.  Recipients of Kiva loans are often funding projects like a food stands or clothing stores, those needs that we often take for granted in places like the United States, but might not be readily available and/or affordable in other parts of the world.

Donating to Kiva starts with a minimum $25 dollar loan to a borrower of your choosing.  Over time, the loan gets slowly repaid and once you have at least $25 back in your account, you can re-loan it to another deserving entrepreneur, donate it to Kiva for their operating expenses, or withdraw the money and use it for other purposes.

Since Kiva began in 2005, they have accumulated some fantastic statistics.  Over a quarter of a million dollars in loans all from people like you and I?  That just astounds me.

(source)

I felt really inclined to donate to Kiva this month not just because I think it’s a worthy cause, but because it also enabled me to support Turame Community Finance, a microfinance institution that my church is partnered with in Burundi, Africa.  It’s only been in recent weeks that we’ve been able to give loans ourselves through Kiva; before it was all out of the Turame project.  I was excited for the opportunity to further support a country that we’ve been actively working with for years now.

Check out this amazing video on Turame and Restoring Burundi.

It’s a beautiful, inspiring thing.

Since I first donated to Kiva, I have had the opportunity to help fund six loans.  I am so excited to continue reinvesting the money and help people create a better life for themselves.

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Samantha December 11, 2011 at 11:31 am

I have been meaning to donate to Kiva for a while. I heard about it back in September or October. It makes sense why you would choose the group that your church is partnered with but what made you choose the other loans you have helped fund in the past?
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mindy @ just a one girl revolution. December 12, 2011 at 8:24 am

I tend to lean more towards the loans involving food and education – food because it’s such a desperate need in many parts of the world and education because I believe that it has the potential to give people the tools they need to create a life for themselves outside of poverty.

guest April 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I just donated today. How quickly was the turn around time on the loans?

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