Saturday, November 22, 2008

Micro Loaning

I've been a Kiva (international micro loan organization) fan for a while now. Folks can lend as little as $25 to someone who needs the money to start, operate or expand their small business (and we're talking small businesses here). Your money is combined with other lenders to make the amount needed by the borrower. I'd like to share two of my most recent loan success stories.

Paulina Mbinga lives in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where she runs a beauty salon, working from 6:30am - 9:30pm most days of the year. She makes about $300 a month from her shops. She borrowed $875 from myself and several other Kiva contributors to buy more products for her shops in April 2008 and repaid her loan in full this year.

Over in the Dominican Republic, Claudia (in the pink top), the mother of three grown children, runs a "colmado" business. Such stores, sometimes run out of people's homes, provide food, drink, cleaning supplies and other household products to the local community. Claudia is part of the Fe en Marcha group in the eastern part of her country. The 17 members of this group borrowed $3,525 from us last year, and their loan was also repaid in full. Claudia used her share of that loan to buy more rice, beans, sugar, bread, and milk for her store. This was Claudia's fifth successful loan, which has allowed her to support her children over the years. Money for this loan came from a computer analyst in Canada, teachers in Sweden and Poland, as well as people from Australia, France, and all across the United States (CA, TX, PA, WA, TN, NC, IN, & NJ to name a few).

Paulina and Claudia are just two of thousands of successful micro-loan stories. Saving the world doesn't always take governments or armies. Sometimes it just takes people working one on one, reaching out a hand to help someone else. As we enter into Thanksgiving week, I just wanted to give thanks for groups like Kiva that offer us the chance to get involved in new and useful ways.


Blogger buckarooskidoo said...

Very apropos and timely post at this time of year.

2:37 PM  

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