Whenever possible, I have always believed it’s better to give somebody a hand up rather then a handout. Don’t get me wrong charity is wonderful and I do donate to many organizations, but if you can help support someone who’s trying to better their life I think it will make a bigger difference in the long run. Which is why I have just made another loan to Kiva.
A couple of years ago I was introduced to a wonderful website www.kiva.org. Kiva helps entrepreneurs in developing countries find funding for their businesses. A person can donate as much or as little as they want and all the money will be repaid to them at the end of the loan repayment term. Then you are free to have the money repaid back to you or reloan it to another entrepreneur. My last loan was to a lady named Luma Lelena who was trying to raise her children and a grandchild by working on her banana farm in Samoa. She needed a Kiva loan to buy fertilizer and pest control agents so she could expand her farm. I helped finance that and she has repaid me in full.
The loan I made tonight was to a father of 5 from Tajikistan. Ikrom Kurbonkulov is a plastering contractor who needs to supplement his income by maintaining a farm on the side. In addition to his sheep and goats Ikrom would like to add cattle. My loan and loans from several others will help him accomplish his goal of being self sufficient.
I strongly encourage you to check out this website. This is a reputable organization. In fact I found out about it when it was nominated as one of CNN’s Heroes. In these tough economic times it’s not always possible to financially give money to every charity that comes along. But this is a unique way to give, help make a difference and still get the money back. It’s a win-win situation.