Once again, we have the opportunity to spend some of our money to make the world a slightly better place. We’ve already made our first loans, and now we have another chance to do it again. So fly, my pretties! Go to Kiva.org, pick out your favourite loan (please keep it to a single loan per person, otherwise it’s way too much for me to comb through). I will make a decision and an announcement next Friday.
For the month of October (the first month this site went live), we made $46.38, and loaned $50.
For the month of November, we made $65.81
Total amount loaned so far: $50
Total loan funds repaid: $0
Fund balance: $62.19
Let’s see your wish list, folks!
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Zainura from Tajikistan gets my vote. Women do a disproportionate amount of the small-scale, subsistence-style farming in the world. The lending partner is solid; it’s relatively low risk, well-established, it’s secular, and their work getting rural folk access to credit is commendable. (There are a number of loans to rural Tajik women through IMON International available, if this one fills up.)
Jameeleh in Jordan – “A loan of $2,125 helps Jameeleh to buy more sewing machines and expand her tailoring workshop.” – currently 4% raised, $2,025 to go
“Jameeleh is a 47-year-old single lady who is living with her mother. Five years ago, Jameeleh was able to open a small tailoring workshop, so she can support herself and her mother. Since then, she has successfully gained a good number of customers. Now Jameeleh has applied for a loan to buy more sewing machines and expand the tailoring workshop.”
I thought micro loans were a really good idea, but then I read this: http://blog.givewell.org/2009/10/23/6-myths-about-microfinance-charity-that-donors-can-do-without/ and now I’m not so sure any more. The site suggests giving money to organizations that work in the health field instead. I need to look at their criteria more carefully, but I think their criticisms are valid.
They may be completely right that the health field is a better place to put money, but I know I wouldn’t be donating money at all if it weren’t for Kiva. The way it works just speaks to me in a way that other systems don’t.
So, despite the flaws, I still think it’s a really good idea. 🙂 I’m guessing you would be giving to charity anyway though, so I can see it’s a good idea to research the best option for you.
Technically speaking, Kiva isn’t charity. We get this money back, which we can put toward other projects. Or I can spend it all on a whim. I probably won’t do that though.