I have been interested in the development of micro-credit ever since I first learned about the principle over a year ago, watching the documentary "Small Fortunes" on BYU TV. The concept seemed deceptively simple. By providing small, unsecured loans to people living in poverty, individuals and families could improve their circumstances through sound business ventures. The ripple effect was felt throughout the communities as goods and services were made available, children were able to go to school, and industry and thrift were modeled as positive ways to live. I supported the idea whole heartedly in principle, but up until now did not know how I could get involved personally. Now I do.
KIVA lets you connect with and loan money to unique businesses in the developing world. For as little as $25 up to as much as you want, you can help provide an individual or group of your choice the funds needed to advance their dreams. There are all sorts of businesses from many different countries to choose from. I decided to support the following: AGRICULTURE in SENEGAL - a motorized irrigation pump will allow a group of people there to expand their farming interests. TEXTILES in KENYA - a woman there embroiders seat covers and tablecloths for sale, her loan will help her move her business to a better location and to buy needed supplies; CLOTHING SALES in TANZANIA - Loan for the purchase of materials for making Batik.
For the price of a nice dinner out with friends I am able to participate in helping these individuals improve their lives. Also, since this is a loan rather than a handout, it will be repaid over time so. My plan is to continue to re-loan this money over and over again to help as many people as I can.
Why do this? As I stated on my Loaner Page: I believe in the words of Edward Everett Hale who said: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”
Many thanks to the Pondering Pig for his own efforts at supporting this good cause and providing the information and challenge for others to share the blessings.