Yesterday I signed up at Kiva.org and today I made my first loans.
Kiva works on the basis of micropayments and allows you as the lender to loan directly to an entrepreneur you choose to help lift them out of poverty. On their web site you can browse profiles of farmers, small shop owners, crafts workers, teachers, etc etc. All of the money you loan goes to the person you selected. Many of the loans these persons request are very small in Western appreciation but go very far for them in ability to improve their own lives, their families and their villages. You contribute to a portion of the overall loan (say $50 to a loan of $1000). What I like about this system is the personality of it, that I can contribute to several projects. In the profiles the entrepreneur also specifies the duration of the requested loan and so over that period she or he will pay you back. You can then withdraw that amount or re-loan it to another project.
Today I contributed to:
Cecilia Munyang in Cameroon.
Dora Yeboah in Ghana.
Amisse Mahomed Rai in Mozambique.
It would greatly please me if you browsed over to Kiva.org and checked it out yourself, and better still, joined up and start to sponsor your own favorite projects. Just a few dollars, or euros, go a long way.