Friday, March 1, 2013
Two More Loans
Regular readers of this blog will know that I have many times written about one of my favorite sites, Kiva.org. Kiva is an organization that aggregates small amounts of money from thousands of people and facilitates the use of that money to make micro loans to hundreds of thousands of hard-working people in third world nations. Through this site, I've already participated in 8 different loans, 2 of which have been repaid in full and the others are all being paid back right on schedule. This evening, I used some of those repaid funds to make 2 new loans.
My first loan was for a 38 year old farmer in Zambia. This father of eight grows fruits and vegetables which he sells in a nearby market. He wants to borrow money in order to buy a water pump which will enable him to expand his production and create a more predictable harvest since he'll be able to irrigate even in the dry seasons. Believe it or not, right now he has to water his crops by literally carrying buckets of water to his fields. The pump will make this process more efficient, allowing him to expand the area that he can farm.
The other loan I made tonight was for a woman in Tajikistan. This woman is trying to start a new business sewing and selling women's gowns and dresses. She's completed a course in starting a business and is now raising the capital necessary to buy a sewing machine and fabrics. My contribution will help her to raise that capital. She'll be paying the loan back monthly over a period of 14 months.
How cool is it that virtually all of us can make a material difference in the lives of people half way across the globe? And these aren't people needing or looking for handouts. They're hardworking, enterprising, people who just need small amounts of financing in order to start or to expand their businesses. And by the way, the default rate on Kiva loans is a fraction of 1%! I just love this organization and love participating in these loans.