My wonderful grrlfriend reminded me with her blog post today to check up on the status of the Kiva loan I made, since she was the one who prompted me to sign up in the first place. Kiva lets newly joining members make a $25 loan for free. It costs you absolutely nothing except a couple of minutes to fill out the membership form and pick a person to send the money to. Of course, the interest payments on this free money go back to Kiva rather than to you, but you get to help somebody climb out of poverty, and see how the whole system works.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I selected Porfiria, a woman in Bolivia who makes and sells hats, where there never were hats before, which seemed fitting. She wanted to buy a sewing machine so that she could make and sell more hats. According to her Kiva account status, she must be doing just that: She has timely made the first three of her ten scheduled installment payments. I can be a softy at times. When I chose Porfiria to receive the free $25 Kiva gave me to invest, I saw that it left just $25 more for her request to be complete, so I kicked in the last bit from my pocket. I already have $12.60 in credits due to her repayments. I think I'll let it run up to a nice even $25 before reinvesting it elsewhere.
Anyway, Kiva is a great organization. It allows some of the poorest people in the world to become less poor through good old-fashioned hard work and entrepreneurship. It's a cheap, painless, and rewarding way to make the world a better place.