I first heard about Kiva last year and decided I'd like to get involved – but it took adding it to my lit and seeing someone on Facebook loaning money to prompt me to get on with it.
Kiva is all about individuals loaning small amounts – as little as $25 – to people in developing countries who want to start a business or better their lives in some way. The success rate is incredibly high with very few people defaulting on their loans, and most people then reinvest their money so the money goes on helping people.
It occurred to me this morning that the $25 – or £18 – is probably what I'd have spent in the pub last night had I not been stricken with the lurgy, so I decided to make a loan to Catherine, a Ugandan woman who had requested a loan to purchase more stock to expand her clothes boutique.
The lovely thing about Kiva is that (thanks to a generous benefactor, I think) you can refer people to the site and if they make a loan you get an extra $25 to help someone else make their better. I shared my link on Facebook,someone joined and I was able to make a further investment in Moses, a young man in Kenya who wants to buy a rickshaw to expand his transport business.
Since making the loans Catherine has received enough funding to purchase her stock, which is fantastic news! Moses needs another $150 so hopefully that won't take too long to raise!
So that's not one but two people helped on Kiva, and I'm pretty sure they won't be the last either. It's such an easy site to use, and such a great use of money that would otherwise have been spent on beer and crisps! It's also the first think crossed off my new 101 things in 1001 days list …well done me!
If you'd like to find out more about Kiva and perhaps make a loan yourself, please use the link below – that way I'll be able to help someone else, so everyone wins!