NOTE: This story was published in May 2015. I will be making a new loan, in April 2016, and will share those details with you.
This morning, I made a New Kiva Loan to Hussein, a photographer in Lebanon. If you aren’t familiar with Kiva, please watch the following video.
Kiva is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, in the United States.
Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunities around the world. A friend told me about Kiva, and beginning in 2009, I decided to lend $25, each month, for a year, and to re-loan that money, as it was paid back. Loans can be made to borrowers in 85 countries, including the USA. My first loan was combined with others to lend Khassan, in Azerbaijan, $1,200 to buy two calves. Over the years, I have tried to find photographers in need of loans, to expand their businesses. So far, my $25 loans have been merged with other small loans to help fund individual projects in 16 countries.
By leveraging repayments, my out-of-pocket expenses (always under my direct control) of only $188 has been leveraged into $675 worth of loans, around the world. Of course, there is always a risk of loss. Since June 2009 — nearly six years — I have lost $1.49, all because of international currency fluctuations, and none due to missed repayments.
You can join me in helping Hussein, here: Kiva It isn’t high finance, but it can mean the world to someone who deserves a chance.