Kiva is a non-profit organisation with a great concept: The support the microlending system, a fantastic way to fight poverty. By giving entrepreneurs in developing countries small loans, they can start to build their business. As Mohammad Yunus, the founder of the Grameen bank in Bangladesh, has proven (he and his organisation were awarded the Nobel peace prize last year), this is very effective and the repay rate is very high (near to 100%). Kiva now takes a Web 2.0 approach to this system: Social microlending. In steps of 25$, everyone who has a PayPal account can give money to a project they want. The site gives informations about the entrepreneurs, what they want to do with they money, how much they need in total (usually between 500 and 1500$) and how fast they will repay their loans. Kiva gives the money to the local microfinance institutions which distribute the money.
If you lend, you won’t get an interest on your loan, but you will help a good cause in an effective way. And - eventually, after a year or so, you will have your money back and can give it to another entrepreneur.
I have no big amounts to spare, but helping with 25$ from time to time will be no big problem. I have given to a farmer in Samoa. She needs a fence around her farm land to protect it from animals; and to a shoemaker in Nigeria.
You should give to a project you like as well!
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