Regular readers will know how much I love the Kiva concept 🙂 Once a month I like to highlight this wonderful organisation to let others know there is a way they can help the less fortunate of the world which isn’t expensive, doesn’t require regular monthly payments and lets you hear the personal stories behind the people you’re helping.
This month all our family’s Kiva loans will be directed to the people of the Philippines after the country was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. It isn’t much but it’s something, and hopefully will go some way towards not only helping these wonderful people get back on their feet, but also to show them they aren’t alone and there are people in other countries who see their plight and care enough to do something.
It feels good to help.
For our first loan of the month we’ve chosen to help a woman named Marijen because she clearly lives and works near the water and I can’t get those images of the flattened coastal towns out of my head.
Here’s what Marijen’s Kiva application has to say:
Marijen is a 35-year-old woman from the town of Dauis, Bohol. She is married with five children. The oldest is 9, while the youngest is 4. Her husband worked as a fisherman to support their family.
She is engaged in a fish vending business. She sells various fresh fish to help augment the income of their household. Her business started five years ago. She is asking for a loan to buy materials, such as styrofoam (for fish storage), fishing materials like fish net, and fuel for the boat.
In the future, Marijen hopes to expand her business and increase her business’ profitability for her children’s education.
If you’re looking for a way to help less fortunate people around the world and spread the love I highly recommend looking into the Kiva experience. This organisation is about giving people a hand, not a hand out. Furthermore, instead of throwing money at an organisation and hoping some of it makes it to where it’s needed, every cent you put up gets to the person you choose to help. What’s more, it’s a loan. They pay it back. So as the money trickles back into your account you can find another person you want to help and lend the money out again. Or take it back – you have that option too if you find it isn’t your thing 🙂 You don’t make up the entire loan amount yourself – lots of people contribute towards each persons request for funds. For only $25 (US) you can start to make a difference.
And the first one is on the house.
That’s right, you can sign up and go through the process of looking at the loans people need in countries like Uganda or Peru, or indeed the Philippines, and actually choose someone to lend money to, and someone else (a Kiva ambassador) will put up the $25 for your loan. If you then find you love it as much as our family does, you can then consider if you want to contribute your own money and make more loans.
If you like the idea of what Kiva does but you can’t contribute yourself at the moment, that’s okay too: I was a member of Kiva for nearly a year before I put in my own money. I would ask, though, you consider sharing this link with your friends so they can see if it’s something they’d like to have a look at 🙂 After all, sharing is caring.
When not over here, Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page. Come join us 🙂
“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”