If you look to just the right of this post you will see a KIVA logo. Many customers and blog friends have asked me about this organisation and why I have chosen to donate monthly profits to them.
OK, so here is how it started. When I read the book 29 Gifts by Cami Walker (you can read it a few posts below), this organisation was mentioned. So I went to the site and researched whether it was where I wanted my money to go-and it certainly was, without a doubt .
Kiva is a non-profit-organisation with a mission to connect people through “lending” as a means to alleviate poverty. They provide safe and affordable access to capital for budding entrepreneurs in Third World countries, to help those people create a better lives for themselves and their families.
The loans are repaid over time and then the money is re-loaned to other business owners in need. As I am very against the “state benefit/hand-out culture” we seem to have created in many places (definitely in the UK and Spain!) where people feel they have a “right” to just hold their hands out and get all their financial needs met by the State, I found this organisation so inspiring.
In the past my monthly donations have gone to help someone in Peru buy a donkey, so that he can carry his wares to sell at the local market. Another recipient was a woman in Ghana who needed a loan to help her run her food stall. At the beginning I tried to focus on women entrepreneurs that needed help. But as my husband pointed out, anyone in a Third World country who is doing their best to better themselves, should be admired and helped.
Don’t get me wrong, I benefit just as much from this relationship. How?
Well when I give anonymously, knowing that my pennies will be going to help someone across the other side of the world to me; whose business progress I can follow (albeit if it is someone with 1 donkey and a cart-load of vegetables), but who will never know about me, it is SO rewarding. Secondly, this has really helped me change my mind-set of lack and scarcity which I grew up around as a child (despite my parents being very well-off!) My mothers fears of it “all disappearing” seeped into my consciousness, and subsequently I lived with this mindset for the best part of 35 years. As anyone knows this kind of mind-set is self-perpetuating. However, now, by giving every month I know my mind-set has changed, and again it is self-fulfilling. So you see, I benefit tremendously also.
This month, this is my recipient
Her name is Isabel from Peru, and she has requested a loan to help her buy supplies for her very small restaurant/eating establishment.
I would love to hear your views. Perhaps you don’t believe in organisations such as this. Perhaps you feel more charity should be done nearer home, in our own countries (I have friends who believe this).Or perhaps you feel small, personal donations are NOT going to eradicate poverty whilst we have so many dictatorial or corrupt governments, so it’s just a pointless drop in the ocean. I would really like to hear your perspective.