Saturday, June 16, 2012
Making Loans Around the World
Today I made loans to help a woman in El Salvador buy supplies for her small cafe, a woman in Mongolia buy more stock for her wallpaper retail business, and a woman in Kenya buy material for the shop from which she sells clothing in local markets. Pretty amazing. How did I do it? Read on.
A good friend recently turned me on to a pretty amazing website (Kiva.org) that facilitates the process of enabling almost anyone to make "micro loans" to people all around the world. A micro loan is a small loan typically provided to a poor person who wouldn't normally have access to traditional sources of financing. These loans are usually used to assist people in growing their small businesses, helping them to break out of the cycle of poverty and gain greater financial independence. You can read all about how this works, see pictures and stories of borrowers, contribute to loans and even track repayment schedules all on the site. Truly remarkable.
People often say that technology is making the world smaller and smaller. We can instantly see and talk to people who are literally halfway across the globe. Technology is also making it easier than ever before to spread kindness around the world. How else would I be able to directly help finance a small business in a tiny village in Africa while sitting at my computer at home? What a great way to truly understand that we live in a global community and that we absolutely can make a difference.