Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Do you want 25 free dollars?!

               ...to give to someone else, that is!


I used my free $25 Kiva loan to help Keum Aun, a garment worker in Cambodia, purchase a motorbike to save on transportation fees to and from work.


Ever since I first read about microfinance in some of my undergrad political science classes, I've been intrigued and excited. Why has it taken me this long for me to actually get actively involved? Yikes, maybe limited cashflow?

But now that I'm here in Cambodia, my cashflow obviously isn't as limited as some of the people I meet everyday. Perhaps the part that finally made me sign up post haste, though, was because Kiva offered me a deal I couldn't refuse...

               ... But first, a little word on how Kiva works!


Instead of giving big loans to big corporations, Kiva gives smaller loans to individuals. The fact that Kiva puts 100% of the funds that you loan into the hands of the loan applicant that you choose makes me deliciously happy.  Read more on their About Page.

One of the coolest things about Kiva is that it's not a charity - it really is a loan. When the borrowers repay their loans, you get repaid for your loan. Easy as! 


BUT THAT'S NOT EVEN THE BEST PART!


Holy schmokies, lovelies! Right now an anonymous friend of Kiva is bankrolling an introductory $25 loan! 

You pick the loan applicant, they provide the funds! 

Obviously you don't get the repayment funds, but you can definitely get someone $25 closer to their loan goal and you can give Kiva a go for yourself!

So the magic button you're looking for is HERE!! 

Click click clickaroo and help someone start a business, fund their personal transportation to school or work, or complete much-needed repairs to their homes (among other worthy requests!). 

CAUTION: Kiva loans are addicting! 


After I loaned that initial free $25 to Keum Aun, I definitely wanted to make another loan. Why?
Honestly, I know I've only been in Phnom Penh for a few weeks altogether, but I've already had so many people act neighbourly towards me. It might sound a little sappy, but I'm pretty excited to get to give some of that kindness back. And, I suppose, to make up for lost time, considering how long ago that poli sci class was! 

So I brought up the Cambodia pages again and read some more profiles. It's really rough trying to pick who to loan to - one of those "I wish I was rich!!" moments so I could give a bit to everybody.

Finally I decided to make a loan to Nary - a 31 year old farmer, factory-worker, and Mom to two kids. I sincerely hope this loan helps her achieve her goals! 

I'm rootin' for you, Nary! 

Do Tell: 

 

Have you made a loan through Kiva before? Did you take me up on my invite link? Let me know in the comments! 

xx Lady Expatriate



4 comments:

  1. I just signed up for Kiva and used my free $25 loan. (Real loans to come too!) I think I may have heard about Kiva way back in my Gender in the Economy course. It was in the summer and only 4 weeks, guess I didn't learn all that much! Thanks for reminding me of my good fortune!

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    1. Ahhhh! Lindsay that's ridiculously cool! It's really fun, right? Reckon I wasn't too far from the truth when I said it was addicting...

      How did you decide who to loan to?

      Think I'm going to try to go for contributing to one new loan a month, though perhaps I should get a job before I publicly promise something like that!

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  2. I absolutely love this concept and thanks for the link. Will be checking it out! Bravo for finding this.

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    1. Cheers, Christine! I sincerely respect Kiva, as well as the ideals of microfinance in general, and I'm stoked to have the opportunity to spread the word. Glad you liked the article! :)

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Thanks so much for leaving me words! :)