Hello everyone! Here’s the latest update on our continued support of small international businesses through KIVA.
For those of you who don’t know, KIVA is a non-profit organisation with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, KIVA lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunities around the world. It was founded in 2005, and since then has grown to a network of 940,896 lenders, lending to borrowers in 68 different countries, and has distributed close to $439 million in loans, with a repayment rate of 99.01%!
The beauty of the scheme is that these are loans, not donations. So the money you loan gets repaid to your KIVA account by the borrower, which means that you can then re-loan the money to someone else.
ILSC MONTREAL: Loans made: 57 (to users from 25 different countries!) Total money lent: $6,350
AVERAGE KIVA USER: Loans made: 9.5 Total money lent: $307.12
This week, the International Business class re-loaned money from the account after having done some work on Microfinance in class. We had $1,000 in our KIVA account that had been repaid by previous borrowers, waiting for us to do some good with it. So the class split into 3 groups and between them they chose 5 different borrowers to loan the money to – here are some of their reasons why:
“Our group would like to invest $325 to Mareme`s Group (Senagal) for buying mangoes, papayas, watermelons and lemons to plant them and start their own agricultural business. We hope in a several years they can transport their chemical free fruits to the USA and Latin America`s countries”
“We want to help Yeabu from Waterloo, Sierra Leone. Because she has a big family. She lives in a conflict area. She decided to run a restaurant in order to take care of her family. We would love to help Ernest from Kitengela, Kenya, because he operates a business in which he customers use his toilets at a fee. And he just wants to buy water in order to provide better hygiene to his toilets.”
The last group chose to help 2 groups of borrowers rather than individuals: Ndeye Ndieme’s Group of 35 women, from Senegal, and Dios Proveera Group from Nicaragua, a group of 10 hardworking single mothers. “We chose those groups because we can help many people from a community , they all have a good reasons and great stories that made us be interested in them. Also, they are women , they are single mother and they have a lot of children to take care and they have a established goal to fight for them .”
We here at ILSC-Montreal intend to continue loaning (and re-loaning!) money through KIVA – and we post our progress on the Blog in the hope that by reading our updates some of you may also be inspired to become KIVA lenders! One person can make a big difference!