24 November 2007
blogging for kiva

I've been tagged again, but don't groan--it's not a meme! No, this time Dee of The Mundane & The Profound has come up with a great way to encourage other bloggers to talk a bit about

an amazing organization that allows anyone to help entrepreneurs around the world over the Internet through a concept called microfinance.

Here is a description from Kiva's website:
Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.
It's that easy! You go to Kiva.org and look around at the projects that need funding. You can loan as little as $25 through PayPal and then, if you like, become a part of the project you've supported by keeping track of its progress.

Kiva was started by Matt and Jessica Flannery after working in East Africa as newlyweds; they saw East Africans around them achieving such great things with so little money that they had visions of all that could be accomplished with just a bit more funding.

And since its humble beginnings a few years ago, Kiva has raise a bit more than a bit more funding--$10 million in loans has been distributed, and 99.7% of that has already been paid back.

The impact of this money, though, is surely immeasurable.

And giving money isn't the only way you can help out, so do check out the Kiva website for more opportunities--both jobs and volunteer positions are available.

I just love Dee's idea of tagging to spread the word about charities and other good works, so stay tuned for my own tag--I already have a great organization in mind. But for now I encourage any of you that love the idea of Kiva to blog about it too.

If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged.

30 days of thanks
Today I'm thankful for:

Everyone who supports those who need it, whether it's financially, emotionally, or otherwise. We *all* have something that someone else needs, even though sometimes it takes a little thinking and/or soul-searching to figure out what it might be.

I'm so thankful that there are people in the world who recognize this and give what they can, and I'm not talking about the rich and famous, although obviously their efforts are appreciated as well. I'm talking about everyday folks like you and me who are able to step out of our own worries and see that there are plenty of people who are worse off--and then take the initiative to do something about it.

Makes you have faith in humanity, you know?

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Blogger BipolarLawyerCook said...

Thanks for the inspiration. Here's my post: http://bipolarlawyercook.blogspot.com/2007/11/charity-begins-somewhere.html

Blogger qualcosa di bello said...

what a great find! & your words of gratitude...very well said!!

Anonymous andie summerkiss said...

This is a great post, raising awareness that normal folks can also make a difference. It also sounds like a good reliable charity group.

We have seen big giant non profit organisations performing so poorly in their works. I have long made up my mind to look for small ones instead. This could be the one worth looking more into.

Blogger sognatrice said...

*BLC, great post! For those who want a clickable link to BLC's awesome charity post:
Charity Begins Somewhere

*Qualcosa, thanks!

*Andie, apparently Kiva was recently featured on Oprah as well, so it's getting bigger by the moment and yet still seems to be pretty reliable and effective. Nice mix :)

Michelle, when I heard about Kiva a few months ago, I emailed them to see if they'd be coming anytime soon to Italy...they're not :( but in the meantime, a startup www.zopa.it is moving into that space in Italy...I hope we can also make a difference here as I'd love to help empower women and small biz here by avoiding the crazy bureaucracy and ridiculous funding that require you to have capital to receive it!

Blogger Dee said...

Great post!!

Also, here's a link to blogs from Kiva fellows who travel around the world. They share their stories.


Blogger mymelange said...

I posted about them a while back too! Found out about them through another blogger as well. Great organization...thanks for spreading the word!

Blogger flutter said...

You are just really really cool.

Blogger moonrat said...

it's so neat to stumble across you! i get a lot of vicarious pleasure out of your blog... my family came over from ievoli in 1939 and i have NEVER, EVER been to italy. in part it's because i feel like i don't deserve to go because instead of learning italian i [unsuccessfully] studied a lot of dumb languages. you're like an inspirational alter-ego for what i could do if this whole publishing thing doesn't work out.

Faith in humanity is definately a good thing to be reminded of. Thanks for sharing!

Blogger Elizabeth Abbot said...

My dad gave my sons each a Kiva gift certificate for Christmas last year and they have been following their investments ever since. Great present idea!

Blogger Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This sounds really intriguing.

Blogger Shan said...

Great post! You're inspiring!

Blogger sognatrice said...

*Sara, I didn't know about the Italian group; thanks for passing it along! Down here in Calabria, there's funding available for women, particularly under 40 or so, to start businesses--like you said, it would be great to get some of that bureaucracy out of it though!

*Dee, thanks! I look forward to reading about their experiences.

*Robin, I'm sorry I missed that; I would've linked to you too!

*Flutter, nah, just concerned :)

*Moonrat, welcome! Don't let the language stop you--I studied Latin and German when I had the chance and then learned Italian here by just listening and parroting ;)

*Jenn, isn't it though? Thanks for commenting :)

*Elizabeth, it *is* a great gift, especially for those people who "have everything" or even just enough ;)

*Jen, I just love everything about it from the way it's set up to its story. I'm so glad that Dee pointed me in that direction.

*Shan, thanks--and you and your family aren't so bad yourselves. Congrats on your brother's Africycle fundraising!

Blogger anno said...

Great post about a great idea! Thanks for raising my awareness!

Blogger sognatrice said...

*Anno, thanks for reading!

Anonymous Blo said...

Hi, I would like to implement a similar kind of project in my hometown (Mirabella Imbaccari - Sicily). The aim is to help the "lavoratrici del tombolo" (lacemakers) and the budget is 30.000 Euros for almost 100 workers. Any suggestion?

Blogger Maggie said...

Funny, my "P" and I have decided instead of gifts for our families who really need niente (beginnings of my Italiano...)to donate to Kiva-- and then I saw your blog. Great organization, huh?

Will be joining the ex-pat community in southern Italy in January from Otranto...

Blogger sognatrice said...

*Blo, sounds like a great idea! You might want to check out the link Sara posted above for zopa.it. I don't know much about them, but perhaps they can help?

*Maggie, welcome to the Expat world to you and P :) You've made an excellent gift decision IMHO ;)

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