We help a woman who had me pissing myself laughing

We made five KIVA loans this afternoon, helping to provide finance to women in Mexico, Tajikistan, Senegal, Uganda and Sierra Leone for everything from an eye prosthesis to bags of rice for a food stall.

It’s been a while since I shared our KIVA activity with my blog. Not because I don’t love our family contributing in this small way towards a better world, but rather I don’t like the idea of shoving it down everyone’s throats all the time.

But today something happened which reminded me what a great thing this is for our family to be involved in.

Miss11 came home from school today upset about poverty in the world and, in particular, Sierra Leone. So we logged in and helped this magnificent woman in the photo above.

This 48yr old mother of four wanted US$625 to buy waxed cotton and uniforms to sell. Her KIVA profile told us Fatmata works 10 hours a day, six days a week providing for her family selling clothing within a busy market area. Loans like this one are special because they provide finance where there are limited alternatives for women.

US$625 may not seem like a lot of money to us but when you bear in mind the average income in Sierra Leone is US$2100 you can see it would make a huge difference to her small business.

We clicked a few buttons and US$25 went from our KIVA account to help Fatmata reach her goals, along with probably 25 other people who will similarly donate the same amount as us.

For Miss11, it was a way to process the whole thing and feel like she’s making the world a little better.

For me, it was the gorgeous outfit & headpiece which initially caught my eye, but I stayed for her name. Fatmata. I thought it was funny. In fact, I lost it. I was nearly wetting myself.

“Dad, you can’t laugh at her name!” Miss11 admonished me.

Tracey’s done a good job of raising this one, despite my help.

Although, to be fair to myself, the backstory is I know someone who taught in Africa thirty years ago and they told me babies born where they were volunteering often got named for English words the non-English speaking parents had heard and liked. I have it on good authority there are babies over there called Shower Rack and Kettle.

I figured this might have been the same sort of thing, because surely no-one who speaks English would name their kid Fat Mother, would they?

See, there’s usually a reasonable explanation for my dickish behaviour…is the sort of thing I like to splash around as an excuse.

A sample of our most recent lending activity.

The main thing is we helped Fatmata and four others, and I feel a bit privileged to be able to do this. If I was a praying sort of guy I’d say blessed.

I like KIVA because I know where my money is going. I can see a photo and learn a little something about the actual person I’m helping. That makes it very powerful with the kids too.

KIVA is a great way to help make the world a little fairer and isn’t about giving money away. Join up and transfer funds into your KIVA account and then choose people to loan it to in lots of US$25. Because lots of people come together to make up any one loan the risk is shared and minimal – I think I’ve lost a couple of dollars in 240+ loans.

You don’t make money from this activity, but the money does come back into your account in tiny increments (usually monthly) meaning you can choose to reloan the money to someone else or even withdraw it. As you can see from our stats below, we haven’t even got $300 in our KIVA account but we’ve made $6075 in loans since we joined (the difference between the $480 we’ve deposited and the money outstanding are gifts we’ve made).

Even better, 245 people who follow our adventures on Big Family Little Income have joined up through my sharing occasionally here on the blog and contributed to over 2563 loans for people all over the world. That’s over US$64,000!

Check it out if it sounds like something you’d like to be involved in. Here’s a link: KIVA

Raising a family on little more than laughs

This post is not sponsored…

…but if you tap on the very attractive image of me below you’ll see my latest one which is about home safety, so worth a gander

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