PINK MONDAY

putting our money where our heart is


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Helping with Housing Half a World Away

The Bai Z Group:  Daniel, Issa Mallah, Mohamed Osman, Safie Josephine, Hassan and Kemoh in Sierra Leone

The Bai Z Group: Daniel, Issa Mallah, Mohamed Osman, Safie Josephine, Hassan and Kemoh in Sierra Leone

It’s been harder than I thought it would be to find a few minutes when my husband and I could spend our Kiva gift card together. My sister Jennifer and her fiancee Curtis gave it to us for Christmas this year.

I really wanted Carlo to be a part of the process because he’s never used Kiva before and I so I wanted to guide him through their website and how the lending process works.

I received notice of the gift via email so I started there and just clicked on the link to redeem our balance. I showed Carlo how we could choose from the list of countries or filter by types of projects to give to. He was hoping to find a borrower in Brazil as that’s where he was born but Brazil is not yet on the list of countries to lend to.

His next choice was housing. He quickly found a group that is looking for $2,775 to buy housing materials like corrugated iron sheets, sand, nails and cement. They had only raised 16% of their goal. The group is called Bai Z.  They are all teachers from primary schools in Makeni city in Sierra Leone and they have successfully repaid past loans. They’re also a pretty handsome bunch.

One of the reasons we picked them was because another Kiva lender signed up to match all loans made to this group. What a generous offer and an easy thing to sign up for if you choose a project that falls within your budget. The group will end up reaching their goal twice as fast.

A group I loaned to previously is already having some success with their venture and they have made a partial repayment to me.  This is becoming a fun hobby. As the money comes back into my Kiva account, I can choose another recipient to lend to.

I’ve talked a lot about Kiva in Pink Monday. If by chance I’ve convinced you to give it a try, check out their website and do a little browsing on your own. You’re bound to find someone you’d like to help and you can start with as little as $25.  www.kiva.org

They also have a promotion where if you invite someone and they sign up for Kiva, you’ll get an addtional $25 credit to use for a future loan.  I’ve invited Carlo. He better sign up!

Happy Pink Monday!

Theresa

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Micro-Lending with Kiva

This is the Bethleem 2.1 Group I chose for my 2nd Kiva loan:  Edoxie, Ida, Eléonore, Marie Noëlle, Bricia, Isabelle, Chouchouna, Valerie and  Carlène

This year I wanted to celebrate Christmas in my family a little differently.  I asked for donations made in my name instead of gifts.  I also decided to give back something that would promote philanthropy and further involvement in charity with my family members.  I sent them Kiva gift cards. Through Kiva, they can provide a micro-loan, providing opportunities that alleviate poverty to people all over the world.  

You can choose any date you want them to receive the gift confirmation so I chose Christmas eve, because in my family, that’s when we have always opened our gifts. I was able to do four gifts in one transaction and they will each receive their own separate email and Kiva Card. I chose the same amount for all so that made it easy. If you are giving different amounts, you will need to do separate transactions.

Now each of them can browse through all the different individuals and groups who are asking for micro-loans, and they can choose who to give to.  If the lendee they chose is successful with their venture, the loan will be paid back and they can re-lend to someone else in the future.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

I’ve given my own micro-loan too.  It’s my second one.  The first one I gave to a woman in Tanzania who was using it to buy cattle. This time I’m giving a little more and lending to a group from Brazzaville, Congo.  One of the leaders of the group, Edoxie, is the leader of this nine member micro-entrepreneur group. She sells fish and her goal is to diversify the quality and variety of fish to attract more customers and grow her business. Her future plans are to become a wholesaler and save money for her children.

I found this group by using the Kiva filters – I chose to give to women, then a group, then to those in an area of conflict. Their are many attributes to help narrow down your lending interests such as youth, water and sanitation, job creation or fair trade.  You can also chose a sector such as agriculture, construction, retail or health (among others).

“Knowing that someone out there wishes the best for you is enough to give you drive to achieve your dream.” – Sammy, a Kiva borrower in Kenya.

Sammy’s sentiments are reflected in the repayment rate – an astounding 99.01%  Here’s a cute little animated video that explains how micro-lending works:  http://vimeo.com/16991128

Try it!  www.kiva.org  – browse through the available loans and read some of the success stories.  Maybe there’s still someone on your Christmas list who would be the perfect recipient for a Kiva gift card.

Happy Holidays!

Theresa