The first time I thought about writing this post was in March of this year but I (regrettably) never got around to actually doing it. “Still not too late!” whispers my brain… So today is a new installment of “Interesting/Important Websites” – a series which I plan to continue, depending on feedback. Let’s get right to it.
I learned about this special site through videos on YouTube by brothers John and Hank Green. Both men are rather famous in their own rights, but they’re probably best known for their 2007 video project Brotherhood 2.0, which popularized them as the Vlogbrothers and got them quite a bit MORE famous. I’ve watched their work for almost 3 years and find a lot of their interests/ideas/projects fascinating. However, I’m not usually into the selfless, altruistic acts that they sometimes promote – so when Kiva was introduced by Hank, I was hesitant. Then I pulled my head out of my butt and realized the awesomeness that is micro-financing.
Kiva is a site designed, as their mission says, to “connect people through lending to alleviate poverty” – but this isn’t your ordinary donation situation. Because it is NOT donations. Kiva is all loans. Here are some basics:
- Men and women – as individuals or groups – all over the world (from Armenia to the Philippines and Columbia to Tanzania) apply for loans for whatever their endeavor requires.
- Some people want money to buy ingredients for food for their bakery, others want to be able to purchase cattle to raise and sell. Some want to buy a car to get to work, or supplies to stock their store, or equipment to farm/fish/build houses etc.
- Each loan has details of the person (or people) wanting to raise money: where they live, how much money they need, what the money will go towards, what their repayment term and schedules are, and any additional information they have provided.
- Your loans can be from $25-500, in segments of $25. Kiva loans have a 98.93% repayment rate. Click here if you’re worried about risks and want to learn more.
- When you, the lender, get repaid, you can choose to re-loan the money within Kiva or extract it from the system and use it to buy a few candy bars and a movie ticket. Choose wisely.
- If you do join and lend, please consider applying your loans to the “Nerdfighters” (pro-nerd) group and looking up a few things about their online community.
- Also, do some research for yourself about micro-financing and Kiva. Education shouldn’t always come from a classroom. You can start here if you’d like.
Next post: Friday, September 14 – writing process and practices.