kiva

In the U.S., a couple hundred dollars might not buy much more than a pair of designer jeans.

In a developing country, it could be enough to permanently lift someone out of poverty.

Kiva is a micro-lending organization created with this idea in mind.  Its self-proclaimed goal is just that: “connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.”

Kiva allows lenders to browse profiles of budding entrepreneurs, whose qualifications are verified by Kiva’s partnering microfinance institutions, before choosing recipients for their loans.

Lenders can also sort profiles by gender, country, etc., if there is a specific group or region they’d like to support.

After making an immediate loan through the site, lenders can choose to receive email journal updates and track repayments.  Kiva also maintains a blog.

Once repaid – and Kiva has an incredibly high repayment rate – the funds can be loaned to someone new.

Every time I visit Kiva’s site, I marvel at how such a simple idea is bringing about such steady change, literally one person at a time.

What you can do:

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