Monday, May 18, 2009

Giving back: Kiva

Kiva - loans that change lives
I just logged on to my Kiva account, and I saw that I had $50 in credit available to reinvest.  I was about to loan to two more people.

Kiva is one of my favorite charities, partially because it is so interactive.  Kiva is a person to person micro-lending website that allows you to fund loans from entrepreneurs around the world.  It is amazing to see the unique businesses that these people have created in order to better their lives in the midst of poverty.

I started using Kiva because I was given a $50 gift certificate.  When we first saw the site, my husband and I were overwhelmed and we spent quite some time searching for the "perfect" loan.  We contributed to two loans at that time.  Since then, we've added more money and funded many more loans.

But what really makes Kiva amazing is that once the loans are paid back, you can lend the money again or even withdraw it.  Now Kiva posts the repayments back to your account as it is paid back, meaning you can fund new loans even quicker.  Right now I have nine open loans and one that has been completely repaid.

Since I am a teacher, I have been trying to figure out ways to bring Kiva to school.  I think that the students would really enjoy the fact that you are able to see who the money goes to, and also that you are able to hear about their progress.  

With just $25, you can get started with Kiva!

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