It’s Sunday, I am getting my shit together for a long and eventful week with a shoot, finishing up another project and a meeting for another project. Things are good and I am thankful. Usually when things pick up for me (or when I do something bad), I donate to one of the most amazing charities. It’s called KIVA and I ran across it on a random TV show.
For long I’ve donated to many charities but felt that large chunks of my bills were eaten up by admin duties. The other part of charity that bothered me was the way it made people feel. In certain ways, “Charity” transformed into a negative word to me. You give to people, hoping it does not take away the motivation to provide for yourself. Is it like feeding animals in the wild? Are we taking away skills?
Then came along KIVA. KIVA organizes micro-loans. The micro-loans come from people like you and I in amounts as small as $20 at a time. A large group of people from around the world provide micro-loans to one borrower. The loans are for building businesses, starting business, and are given out if a borrow is believed to have a good plan.
What I love about it, is that it’s not charity. When you donate money, the borrower agrees to pay your loan back with no interest. They have 6 months and sometimes more, to pay you back. So far, I have a 100% payback rate. 100%!!!! You won’t find that anywhere in the USA and it makes me so proud, that your loans are paid back. When they are able to make payments, that means their standard of living went up. That means their business went up. That means their self-esteem went up. The beauty of this charity is that the borrow promises to pay you back. That allows the mico-lenders to use the same $20 (or any amount you choose) to spread and continue to work for people. Once a borrows pays you back, you can apply that money from your KIVA account and lend it to another entrepreneur needing help.
It’s a great way to raise capital, to work with people from around the world and help those in need, it raises self-esteem of those who need, and it builds lives. You can stretch your initial investment to reach beyond one family and it’s a beautiful program.
I got into photography to capture beauty, and this is something beautiful!
To find out more click KIVA
or read the KIVA BLOG