Slice of Life: Microloans, the World and Me

Slice of Life 2011

This morning, I realized that today was International Women’s Day, a way to celebrate the amazing role that women play in our world and the struggles that so many still face in so many places. I also realized that I had some credit in my Kiva Microloan account — money which had been paid back from previous loans.

The two ideas are connected this morning because a good percentage of the organizations that I have donated to via Kiva over the past two years have been either women-run businesses or women collaborative projects. I remember reading in Three Cups of Tea a statement that Greg Mortenson makes about the importance of supporting women, as they are more likely to use donations and other forms of assistance to raise up the family rather than use it for themselves. It’s a sad fact, perhaps, but I believe there is truth in that idea.

(my loans on the map)
kiva loans 2011

So, this morning, I added my $25 credit to a project to support a restaurant in a part of Africa (Uganda) and I tallied up my donation into the Kiva Group called Shift Happens, which is made up of educators. That group of teachers has collectively donated out more than 400 microloans to the tune of $13,000.

The funny thing about microloans is that it seems so small, but I always feel good about doing a small part of something larger. If you have never tried Kiva, give it a look. It will make you feel good about yourself, and when that one loan gets paid back, you turn it around and help someone else. And on today, when we pay attention to the success and plight of women in the world, perhaps Kiva is one option to reach out beyond your bubble and impact the world. And be sure to join our Shift Happens group, and add to the shift.

Peace (in the change),

  1. Kevin,
    I have not heard of this organization before but will go check it out as soon as I respond to you. Thank you for posting such an insightful piece and allowing those of us who read to become a part of what you shared.

    • Kevin,
      I have not heard of this organizion. Thanks for sharing…I’m looking forward to checking this out. I believe you would appreciate the picture book, One Hen: How One Small Loan Made A Big Difference.

  2. I didn’t know about kiva. Let me check it deeply. I like to know about projets to let us live in different forms. It is possible an alternative world.

  3. I remember when you made a donation as a holiday gift for me and too bad that I didn’t continue with them. I think I will again. Although now that non-profits are being threatened, I am creating a US list for my contributions.

  4. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, & for that suggestion/website. I have a former student who has started a school for girls in the large slum in Nairobi, Kenya-Kibera. Their philosophy is the same: help the women & the communities will prosper. That site is the Kibera School for Girls I will check out the Kiva site.

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