A few years ago a friend of mine gifted me $25 on Kiva.org. If you’ve never heard of Kiva, I strongly encourage you to take a look when you have a chance. Their tag line is “loans that change lives” and that quite accurately is what they do.
For as little as $25, you are able to loan someone in another country a portion of a loan they are requesting in order to start, expand or continue a business. You are able to sort through close to 1000 people and your search can be broken down into gender, sector (education, health, fool, etc.) and region. There is typically a photo and a paragraph outlining how much the person needs, what is will be used for, re-payment terms/schedule and any previous loans they have requested/repaid.
My first loan was to Mrs. Enyonam Attidza from Togo. She had requested $975 to buy food including 5 bags of rice, 3 cases of milk and 5 cases of canned food which would allow her to increase the size of her business and better meet the needs of her family. Within 13 moths, Enyonam had paid back the entire loan so I had my $25 back to loan to someone else. My second pick was Mrs. Teresa Quinteros García of Peru….and so on.
To date, my original $25 has been used to fund over 6 loans. In addition, I’ve loaned another $25 as well as gifted Kiva.org to many friends and family for birthdays or other occasions, including children. It is truly the gift that keep on giving so take a look and see how Kiva’s mission of connecting people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty is possible with a mere $25.