Recently, I’ve started participating a little bit at kiva.org, a website that allows you to loan money to individuals in developing countries looking to create small businesses to support their families. There are other websites that do similar things (www.globalgiving.com, www.microplace.com), but I liked how personal this one is – almost like getting to meet who you’re helping. And it’s not just a charity or donation, but a loan that they will pay back, and hopefully become self-reliant in the process. What a great idea!
This week at kiva.org, I found Augustina in Lima, Peru who is starting a restaurant. You can read Augustina’s profile here. I only donated $25 (through Paypal), but combined with the contributions of several others, in just a few days, Augustina was able to get the $825 she needs to buy some tables, chairs, and kitchenware for her new restaurant. It was rewarding for me to see so many people contributing to help out those in developing countries, and is exciting to participate in some small way, in making someone’s life a little better.
If you have a minute, head on over to kiva.org and look through some of the profiles of the entrepreneurs wanting loans. If you can afford to have some money tied up for a few months while it’s getting paid back, it’s amazing what a difference just a little bit can make.