Carole recommended Kiva, a non-profit organisation that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income 'entrepreneur' across the globe. You choose who to lend to, and as they repay their loan, you get your money back. This is a simple and sustainable way to empower someone to support their family and lift themselves out of poverty. As your money is repaid you can either withdraw it or lend it again.
In the very unlikely event of a loan not being repaid, I can easily afford to think of the $25 as a donation. To me, $25 is a few takeaway lunches or coffees, which I would not miss. For the borrower, it may be equivalent to a fortnight's income. Micro-loans are also a good way of using money I earn from online surveys (which will be the subject of a future blog post).
The first four borrowers I chose to support were Janina in Peru (sewing), Leonora in the Philippines (rug-making), Roberto in El Salvador (food production/sales) and the 'Por un Futuro Mejor' (For a Better Future) communal bank (ten women involved in agriculture in Ecuador). By the time you read this, my sisters and I will have added to that list.
You are warmly invited to join the Kiva lending team named 'Genealogists for Families', whose slogan is 'We loan because... we care about families (past, present and future).'
- Register with Kiva and join the team.
- Make a loan. If you do not have a spare $25 yet, join now and when you do make a loan it will be automatically linked to the team's efforts.
- To publicise your Web site or online family tree, enter its address in 'My Website' on your Kiva Lender Page.
Checkout and payment are quick, easy and secure. (If you have not heard of Paypal, I can recommend them. I have used them for business and personal transactions for many years.)
If you enjoy your experience with Kiva, please invite others to join the team. Let's show the world that family historians can make a difference! I hope you will share your experiences and suggestions by leaving a comment below.
('Thankful Thursday' is a theme used by Geneabloggers to express gratitude for anything that has had a positive impact on our lives.)