Today I will …
lend 25 USD through Kiva.
For my work I read a lot and every now and then I find some cool stuff. In an article I had to edit, I read about Kiva.org and that name ended up on my ‘have to check’-list for The Better World. I decided to take a look and immediately got excited.
Within 10 years, more than 1.3 million people lent money through Kiva.♥
Kiva♥ is a non-profit organization that collects micro-credits for people living in poverty. On their website you’ll find profiles of people around the world who need a loan to start up or expand their businesses or need some help in a different area of life. Kiva works with micro-financers who control these loans and provide them to the people, but Kiva itself also explores what the risk of your loan will be (there is a possibility you’ll never see your money again) and if the interest rate for the borrowers isn’t too high. In other words: the organization works as a kind of watchdog.How does it work for us? Fortunately, this is very simple: just start with reading some stories on the website untill you find one that appeals to you. Obviously, I only wanted to lend money to a project that is ‘green’ and I ended up with Filiberto’s story. He lives in Guatemala and wants to grow onions. Currently he has been growing other vegetables, but the onion would grow well in that climate and would be a welcome addition to his farm to raise his income. Unfortunately, first he has to buy some things before he can get to work and therefore he needs 675 USD (629 euros). In short: a loan (because I just assume the onions will grow awesomely 😉 ).
Not a very useful, but fun fact: Filiberto has eight children.♥
Today was my first visit to Kiva, so I had to fill in a form and got an actual Kiva profile. After that, I transferred 25 USD from a Paypal account (VISA works too) to Kiva, which was then added to my profile as ‘Kiva credit’. My last step was to lend that amount of money to Filiberto and now it’s just waiting until he has grown some onions.
On the profiles of the persons who are asking for a loan you can actually read what the repayment schedule is and how high the risks are. In his case, he must repay the loan in August 2016, so around that time, I can expect my money back into my Kiva account. The risks and repayment arrangements vary per loan.
In total, about 780 million USD has been lent already, with a repayment rate of 98.46%.♥
What I especially love about Kiva is the fact that it’s about small amounts. Almost anyone can lend 25 USD and that’s enough. Since you don’t know if you’ll get your money back, this is an amount that’s probably not too much for the risk you take. Kiva makes sure 100 percent of the money actually goes to the loans: the organization gets nothing. That’s why you see a donation added to your list when you decide to lend some money to somebody, but if you click on the button to adjust the amount of the donation, you can make it zero too. That way, it’s really only 25 USD. Whatever you want is fine.
Because thousands of people use this website, there’s so much possible! It’s a good feeling that a small amount like this is enough. 🙂
For now, of course I’ll have to wait and see how things go with Filiberto and his onions, but I will keep you posted!
These posts are in no way meant to show off, but solely meant to share my journey with you. See more at the 'about me' page.