Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kiva Loan for Xmas

I haven't sent Xmas cards for years and years, but still receive a handful every year from the diligent and very organised few who have, or seek out, my current address. Each year I feel guilty about not returning the favour, but this year, albeit into January now, I have decided to do something in return.

Some months back I opened a Kiva account, where microfinance loans are donated through the site, and recipients pay these back on a planned program, through an in-country partner of the site. Microfinance is something that I have really believed in since studying it within my Masters in International and Community Development.

Microfinance is the practice of loaning people in developing nations a small financial loan to get a business idea started, or to expand their current business to assist with growth. It started in Bangladesh, as the Grameen Bank, with amazing success rates for women increasing their craft market wares.

In October I contributed to 2 loans. One for a man in Mongolia, who requested a loan to buy a truck to expand his transport business. The other was to a woman in Cambodia who had asked for some help with pig feed to expand her pig farm, to generate income for her family. The repayments on the loans on Kiva can then be rolled over to new loans, in a continual donation to individuals who are working at helping themselves. The ultimate self determination process in supporting poverty relief worldwide.

So in the place of Xmas cards this year, I have given a loan to Martha in Nicaragua to help expand her retail store, with stock purchases. So thank you Jenny, Belinda, Renee, Liz and Cathal, and Nicole. May Martha expand her business, and support her family, giving her an ongoing source of income and sustainability.


  1. I've noticed people doing things like donating to charity instead of sending Christmas cards. I don't really get the link myself. I donate to charity (and do Kiva loans) but that's entirely independent of my decision of whether or not to send Christmas cards. I guess one link is that I tend to buy cards where some of the proceeds go to charity and I could donate that directly.

  2. Well, I am normally too disorganised/lazy/grinchy to do cards, so thought I would do this, this year. I like the swap of sending cards and donating to a cause in it's place, works for me! Any prompt to work on the fight against poverty!

    So - not into Xmas...help this little shop in need! I like it!

    I mean, dirty Mo's prompt me to donate for Men's health too!

  3. Although I do like sending cards, making a donation for the amount I normally spend on cards and postage is also an interesting idea. I did do charity donations in honor of my parents and brother and sister-in-law this year in lieu of presents.


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