Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Supporting loans through Kiva.org

For a couple of years, thanks to a fellow blogger, I've been involved with Kiva.org. It is a micro lending organization that provides loans all over the world. Often repayment is a dollar or less a month.

The latest loan I've made is to Ismail who owns an auto repair shop in Iraq. He is 46 years old. He and his wife have five children. His total loan is $2400 US. Of course I didn't loan that amount but the total he borrowed through the micro lending program. What has touched my heart is that Ismail is paying $2.09 a month on his loan repayment to me.

The photo of Ismail that I received in determining to make my loan caused me to think he was in his early 60's. As I said previously, he is 46. I'm sure the wars and conflicts have caused that premature aging. I can't even imagine the difficulty that he and his family endured during the war there.

I've loaned to women farmers in Pakistan. Women entrepreneurs in Brazil and many others. Typically I loan in third world countries where the idea of loans is a new thing that can change lives significantly.

If you have $25 that you don't need, make a difference in someone's life. That is the minimum. It is SO easy to do. Just go to Kiva.org and read all about it.

I don't think you'll ever be sorry that you helped another person to be able to make a living.

6 comments:

Tancho said...

I am always surprised of what a difference it makes to the people. Borrowing a small amount to buy inventory for their store or farm implements, seeds etc, It always gives me a good feeling to know that I was able to help in a small way!

I'm the Mami said...

We talked about these micro loan programs in my undergrad years, its suprising how much of the general public doesnt know how easy it can be to change someones life! And this money isnt a "hand out" by any means - these are loans, for people who have a plan to support their family through determination and hard work.

I will definately check out the organization, and may have to loan an amount for my father on his birthday or perhaps Dia de Los Muertos in his memory. He used to give me gifts like that often - by donating to a charitable cause. This is something he would have loved.

Thanks for sharing.

Calypso said...

http://blogs.cgdev.org/open_book/2009/10/kiva-is-not-quite-what-it-seems.php

I know your heart is in the right place - like so many others that Blog and promote KIVA - but after doing some due diligence I found them to be deceptive and more.

I tend to avoid charities with a lot of middlemen. I do believe in helping.

Babs said...

Calypso - Obviously I assumed that kiva didn't actually dispense the funds in any of these countries. Their admin. staff is very limited from the research I've done.
When you go on the site to make the loan, it not only tells you about the individual, it also tells who is lending the money to him or her, what the chances are that the dispensation of funds could be disrupted (especially in Iraq) etc. etc. etc. The amount of info given is greater then what I would expect.
KIVA has been lauded by many humanitarian organizations. Just because one person wrote a negative article does not change the picture for me or should it for anyone else that gives to this organization.

Calypso said...

Babs - I certainly would not eliminate a charity from ONE bad review.

Of course there are more than one that have questioned the KIVA process. I didn't mean to provide it as a sole source, just as an example.

In 2009 the average KIVA loan had a 23% interest fee attached to it - that is very steep considering that the money provided by you and others goes in interest free (none to you).

Also, it is well documented that you are not really loaning money to the face they put on - kind of like the starving child in Africa. The money is administered to loan companies and then loaned to people like the face you see and the story you are told. Truly your funds do not go to that individual in particular Just saying.... In a general sense the mechanic is getting a loan (at perhaps 23% interest) from the kitty you contribute to.

I confess I have not looked back into KIVA since 2009 - so perhaps they have improved?

Felipe Zapata said...

I knew when I read your post that you would get negative kickback. Ignore it, and keep up the good work.

The principal gripe these folks have is the pretty steep interest rate.

So, what?

These are high-risk loans for the most part, and steep interest rates are the name of the game. Risk determines the interest rate.

What is the alternative? Just not loaning at all, it seems.

Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

I and gadzillions of others have been a part of the Kiva organization for a long time, and I intend to keep it up.