I have blogged here before about my microlending through the website kiva.org. For other posts on this topic check the right hand side under Categories: Giving. Giving with the Kiva site is really neat, probably the most rewarding philanthropy work I’ve done so far. You make a loan of $25 at a time to one person, and other donors around the world also pick whose loan they want to fund. Usually I try to pick people that I feel are very positive and whose positivity benefits those around them. I’m an energy reader, and with their name, photo, and description given by Kiva.org that’s way more than enough for me to get a sense of the person. I think that’s enough for anyone to get a sense of the loan recipient! For this last loan I made, I searched for people whose business involved clothing sales, and as I was looking through the photos, it struck me that Felipe in Mexico really needs this loan. He’s not my usual pick beaming with positivity, but I get the feeling he really needs a break. His other income source is farm work, and he has a wife and son he supports. Here’s the page with information about Felipe and his loan. Since these are loans, the people do repay them. I made this loan a few weeks ago. If you follow the link you will see that as of the date of this blog post not only have other lenders jumped on board so that his loan was fully funded, but he has already paid back 23% so far. As they repay the loans I get the money back into my kiva account so I can loan it out again. My loan to Felipe including the few dollar donation to kiva operating costs was all covered by balance I had already in my kiva account.
With Felipe and other loan recipients paying back into my account, I already have almost the entire amount I need back to make another loan! Stay tuned to see who I’ll pick next! :-)