Earlier this year, back in July, I signed up to become a Kiva lender. If you’re not sure what a Kiva lender is, in a nutshell it is a non – profit organisation that was established in October 2005 with a mission to connect people through lending (micro-financing) to alleviate poverty.
I loaned $25 to this lady from Bali, Indonesia, her name is Harini and it was to help her buy more fish to sell through her business.
Her total loan through Kiva was $750. That’s over one million rupiah and in rural Bali that is A LOT of money. To give you some perspective, the minimum wage per month is approx 1.6 million Rupiah (approx $161 AUD)
I’ve already received 2 updates from Kiva since my initial sign up and lend. Harini’s latest repayment which I received a couple of days ago means that she has already paid off $3.13 from my $25 loan to her.
I love getting updates like this. I love knowing that in a small way, my ability to provide a micro-finance loan to Harini is helping her better her way of life. This makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I am acknowledging the less fortunate and offering empowerment to help them in a small way. That I am not being ignorant about it which is so easy to do.
Seriously though. $25 is a pizza delivered to our house. $25 are those shoes on special that you can go without. $25 is the savings that you could lend if you were more aware of the power and water that you use or waste.
It’s not a lot of money. I am very fortunate and grateful that that is the fact at the moment for me. But. $25 can be huge for someone who is living on the poverty line, does not have a reliable source of income that they can depend on and have limited ways of getting credit.
If you have Netflix – I urge you to watch a documentary on there called “ Living on One Dollar”. It’s just under an hour of screen time so it won’t take long to watch. It is one of the most powerful, humanising pieces of film I have seen in a while and highlights how Micro-Financing can have a massive impact on individuals lives, their communities and beyond.
In light of such sad and horrible events that have recently happened in the world, lets share love, compassion, hope and kindness.
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To find out more about Kiva. org - visit their website Kiva.org