In the world

Paying Forward: Kiva for a Good Cause

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Image via CrunchBase

Some people are personally opposed to charity. I don’t understand this attitude, but I understand that it exists, and that’s one of the reasons I’m grateful that Kiva exists. Kiva is a non-profit that connects micro-investors with micro-borrowers who use small loans to make big changes.

Kiva lends on a world wide basis. It’s simple to help. You just go to the website, choose a borrower, and cough up your twenty five bucks. Kiva and its field partners do the rest, while you sit back and get updates about the progress of your loan.

According to the website, Kiva has over a 99% repayment rate, which in any borrowing situation is phenomenal. And these aren’t loans to get a new coat of red paint on a Corvette. These are loans that start a family business, or build a well, or buy a flock of chickens.

These are loans that change lives. A poverty stricken girl goes to college. A family without transportation now has a way to get their sick child to the nearest hospital. You get the idea. In most cases, your contribution is only a part of a whole loan, as you join with dozens of others to crowd fund the need.

There are so many different types of loans being offered at Kiva that no matter your pet cause, you’re likely to find something related. If you want to help in a particular region of the world, Kiva allows you to make that choice. Prefer a certain gender, or would rather work with a group over an individual? You have those choices as well.

Kiva partners around the world (September 2006) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And remember, these are low interest, fair loans, rather than gifts. When your twenty five bucks comes back, you can re-loan it, pull it out of circulation, or give it to Kiva for operating expenses. You don’t ever earn the interest. What you earn is the satisfaction of making a difference. And that is totally worth it.

Here’s a challenge: Every single one of you who puts a comment on this post that says ‘I loaned to Kiva’ and provides a valid email address will receive codes for a all three of my Cat Confederation story ebooks. How many of you will step up? 😉

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