When we decided to start sharing our good fortune by donating to causes we believe in, we also realized that not all help is charitable giving. We can also help people by loaning them money directly. That’s where Kiva comes in.
This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!
Kiva is a matchmaking service that matches lenders with people who need to borrow money, but may not have access to the traditional banking system. This includes situations like extreme poverty, lack of credit history, but also just people who live in remote areas, and there’s no local bank.
As of today, we’ve participated in funding 27 loans in 22 countries. We’ve contributed to a solar-powered pump to provide clean water for a village, helping buy seeds for planting season on a farm, stocking a general store, and a few young people’s educations. We’ve made it a regular part of our routine, having the kids help pick out someone to loan money to every Thursday at our family meeting, plus we’ve turned on the “go ahead and make a $25 loan every month for me” subscription feature.
Our goal is to continue putting money into this, little by little, until it becomes self-sustaining. Eventually, we’ll be getting enough payments from borrowers that the automatic monthly loan will be covered, and after that the loans we choose ourselves will be covered as well. We’ll let you know when we get there.