I didn’t hear much from you with regard to our Kiva project, so I donated all the money to Invisible Children.
But I didn’t have time to go through the Kiva.org website and really closely scrutinize the projects, so I just picked a couple at semi-random. This is why I need y’all to help me out here – to make sure our money goes to the best source.
At any rate, here’s where it went this month:
Unyenyekevu Group – DR Congo
Kavira is an entrepreneur and head of the Unyenyekevu business group. She is 55 years old, married and the mother of 10 children, who are all in school. Her husband is a mechanic. Kavira sells second hand handbags. She has been involved in small-scale business of this type for four years. This is her 11th loan from Hekima, and will enable her to buy one sack of bags, among other things.
Kavira would like to see her children grow up in comfort, expand her business and buy another plot of land to leave to her children. She would like to thank Hekima for its work helping poor women who are excluded from traditional banking.
Ayen Thon – South Sudan
Ayen lives in Bor. She sells charcoal and has been in business for three years. She is 30 years old, married, and has no children. Ayen heard about BRAC South Sudan from a credit officer and this is her third loan from BRAC.
She has requested a loan of 1,500 SDG in order to purchase charcoal. She will use her extra income from this loan to build a house in future.
$25 has gone to each of these projects. I picked them because a) African, b) women, c) business. My selection criteria, I’m afraid, are not much fancier than that.
Because of the tendency for these loans to get funded fairly quickly, I’d suggest that if you’re interested in providing input into these loans, wait until I announce the next round (i.e., in a month’s time). I do hope you will chime in with where these funds are going, because I am bound to overlook something, and I consider this our money – at least until we have enough to spend on something I really want then I’m leaving you suckers in the dust from my G4.
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, and loaned $50.
For the month of December, we made $44.76, and loaned $50
Total amount loaned so far: $150
Total loan funds repaid: $2.50
Fund balance: $5.57
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I’ve been Kiva’ing for a while now, usually attributing my loans to the Atheist’s and Agnostic’s community, sometimes to the GLBT community (usually Uganda, just for the PR value I suppose, a Bi male giving to Uganda when they want to put people like me to death).
Started small, put $150 in a couple of years ago, and I’ve since made $600 worth of loans ^_^.
Lost a bit from people unable to repay, but hey, we’re talking about people trying to start new businesses, improve their lives, sometimes their plans don’t work out… and I’d rather I gave the money and didn’t get it back than see a farm go short of fertilizer.
I started by loaning solely to agricultural projects in Africa. I live in the UK and our vehicle for overseas aid was hijacked by venture capitalists a decade ago, who ploughed money meant for farms and small businesses into shopping malls instead. So I tried, in a small way, to help where I could.
I tended to give to women’s groups primarily because of the field data from the microloan systems in South Asia that seemed to show that loans to women provided a larger gain to the community overall.
But recently, I’ve been donating 50/50 to women/men projects, and since agriculture tends to be a seasonal concern, I’ve invested in transportation and small retail businesses in small communities when agricultural loans have been unavailable.
I hope I’ve done some good, but I’ll never really know, I just know that some farmers in Africa will be getting just a little extra money for vital resources. Whether it’s enough to make a difference, again, I’ll never know, but I can only hope.
I can’t see any way I could choose better than the projects you selected.
I would have been inclined to use similar criteria.
Ok so. I’ve been browsing, so if you give a heads up when the next round is, I will pick out a few using the criteria (Africa, women, business) and you can see if any of them suit. If that makes it easier for you anyway. Having a look around Kiva just now, I see some group loans for African women in business that seem good.
Suffer with me now for a short telling of my Kiva story. A few years back I received some scratch off lottery tickets for my birthday. One was a $250 winner, so I cashed it and headed to Kiva (I was going anyway, so the little windfall was perfect). I made $25 loans and as the repayments arrived I quickly re-loaned. Now I have over 50 loans (do the math, I’m a re-gifting fool) in 17 countries and each one is special. My criteria is the same as yours: Loan only to women. I have never had a default. My geographic selection method is frivolous. After seeing Angelique Kidjo I loaned to Benin, I loaned to a woman whose name is the same as my favorite aunt, feeling remorse from the war I loaned to Vietnam, I discovered I have a soft spot for African women named Comfort, I enjoy fishing so the Cambodian lady joined the list, and on and on it goes. My point here is that your selection criteria is more finely tuned than mine, but aligned. So that if I have an account balance that allows I’ll follow your lead for the next few loans. I hope the “notify” button works.
I don’t know if I’ll have the dedication to do more than pick one at random for my own or our donations. But I think it’s really cool, looking at this as “our” money and taking suggestions.