Last week, I visited Kiva.org in search of a Kenyan business to support. If you haven’t yet heard of this organization:
Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you’ve sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.
Once on the site, I found no registered businesses – anywhere – left in need. There has been an amazing influx of funding thanks to publicity from Oprah, NBC and others. What incredible news! As of this week, Kiva has posted several additional people to help and they are searching for more.
Newlyweds Matt and Jessica Flannery mesh different life desires into a workable solution – for themselves AND for the greater good.
- She wanted to learn micro-finance in Africa.
- He wanted to devolop internet start-ups in Silicon Valley.
- Together, and with friend Premal Shah, they created an easily accessible, no-fee, no-interest, micro-lending program.
Kiva, which means “unity” in Swahili, more importantly means changing lives in impoverished countries for the better. New York Times journalist and Kiva lender, Nicholas D. Kristof, calls it D.I.Y. Foreign Aid. His video shows how, for just a few dollars, he became business partners with a Baker in Kabul. It takes little effort to have a huge impact in the world when one teams with a larger community of lenders.
Bottom line: Invest in humanity through Kiva.
You’ll connect directly with the people you empower.