I received an email this morning telling me that I’m one in a million!
“Kiva just hit the 1 MILLION lender mark! You are now officially one in a million inspiring changemakers, pioneers, and poverty fighters! We can’t thank you enough for helping Kiva get to this point.”
Since I don’t want every post I write to be about living with cancer, perhaps it’s time for another one about this amazing organization. I first learned about Kiva in 2010 when I read the eye opening book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Kiva is a non-profit organization that allows a person to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur in one of 72 countries around the world. Though Kiva provides loans to both men and women, I choose to lend to women who are borrowing money to purchase specific items that they will use to generate income to help them support their families and educate their children.
Since March 2010 when I made my first loan to Rann Sar, a Cambodian mother of four who wanted to purchase two cows to begin a breeding program, I have invested in a variety of livestock, numerous sewing machines, some hairdressing tools, two restaurant refrigerators, two stoves and a portable food stall like the ones we saw on the streets in China. But how can $25 purchase a cow or a stove? It can’t. Many lenders pool their resources to fund each loan.
Over the past three and a half years, I have made a total of 22 loans but I’ve only invested $125. How is that possible? As each borrower makes a monthly payment on her loan, my share of that payment is deposited in my Kiva account and I receive an email notifying me of my updated balance. I could withdraw the money at any time but instead, as soon as my balance reaches $25, I search the Kiva database and choose another woman to lend to. I can’t begin to tell you how excited that makes me! This truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
I recently heard it said that people around the world are praying for things that we take for granted. That really impacted me. We are so blessed and we take so much for granted. With Thanksgiving just around the corner (this weekend in Canada and next month in the US), perhaps this is the perfect time to think about helping someone else achieve their dream, feed their family or send their children to school. It’s as easy as clicking on the logo below or the Kiva banner in my sidebar and investing $25!