In 2008, we set up an account with Kiva, a non-profit organization that allows people to loan money to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Kiva works with regional microfinance institutions to distribute member donations. Kiva has loaned over $550,000,000 to small business owners, many of them women, all over the world. If you are interested in learning more, just click on the graphic to go to Kiva's website.
We have made 27 loans to small business owners all over the world. 19 have been paid back in full, 6 are ongoing, one loan was refunded, and one loan resulted in a slight loss (less than $1) due to exchange rates. We get an email every time a payment is made on an outstanding loan, and when there is enough in our account, we look for other people to loan the money.
We started with an initial donation of $150, all of which we loaned to Comfort Anima in Ghana to help her buy supplies for her store. As Comfort repaid the loan, we in turn, loaned that money to other entrepreneurs. I may be oversimplifying, but the way I look at it, our original $150 has become the $850 we have so far loaned through Kiva. As our loans are repaid, that number will continue to grow. We have enjoyed our involvement with Kiva, and as a family, we look forward to helping more people.