The Christmas season is upon us, which brings me to one of my favorite things—an organization called Kiva.
Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco. Its mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty and to help individuals create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Kiva has a 97% repayment rate. My husband and I have contributed to 10 loans and so far we have experienced 100% in repayments. Many of us have access to everything we need to live a happy and productive life. So to offer a loan to someone in need in the name of a loved one can be very rewarding on many fronts.
When I choose a loan, I try to look for something in common between the individual seeking a loan and the person to whom the loan will be dedicated as a gift. For example, we have a friend who has a passion for helping female, non-traditional students get access to higher education. As a Christmas gift to our friend, we combined our efforts with 20 other lenders and contributed to a loan for Sara, a woman (age 30) living in Lebanon, to help pay tuition costs so she could receive higher education. Over the past year she has repaid 91% of the loan and she is scheduled to pay it off entirely in the beginning of 2018.
By lending as little as $25, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy, or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition.
100% of every dollar lent through Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations and support from grants and sponsors. As of this writing Kiva has accomplished the following milestones:
- 2.6 Million Borrowers have been assisted
- $1.7 Billion in loans have been funded
- 84 Countries have been introduced to Kiva's services
- 1.7 Million Lenders have contributed
To learn more about Kiva go here.
Click here to watch a two minute video about Flordelisa, a hard working woman in the Philippines, who received a Kiva loan. Her family has been greatly blessed as a result.
If you are looking for a way to pay it forward, I invite you to consider a Kiva loan.