WHAT COULD I DO?
The more comfortable our lives become, the more tempting it is to just completely ignore all the people struggling out there.
For some time now I have been thinking; with my limited dollars what could I do to make a difference in the lives of people in poor countries around the world? …if only I knew someone on the other side of the world, who was struggling, who needed money for a business venture to make life better for his family, who wasn’t just looking for a hand out but a hand up…so I started poking around the internet to see what I can find.
I did not want to simply give money to a charity and have them find people that needed help. I wanted to pick and choose those people myself. I did not want to simply give the money away but wanted it to be an interest free loan. Money that gets paid back and can then be used to help others if I choose. I found Kiva.
If you feel the same and would like to make a difference I invite you to join Kiva at http://www.kiva.org/ and my team on Kiva called Helping Hands International at http://www.kiva.org/team/helping_hands_international
Kiva http://www.kiva.org/about is a non-denominational international organization that partners with local microfinance groups in 77 different countries all over the world and monitors the funds that are microfinanced out to deserving people/projects, and the best thing is YOU decide who is deserving and how much you want to lend!
Its members lend a minimum of $25.00 at a time to a borrower of choice. Now the money you give is not a grant. It is a LOAN. And Kiva has a 98.95% repayment rate of all the loans. That means the people who get the funds, repay the loan and it eventually goes back into YOUR pot to help others!
When you lend $25.00 through Kiva, Kiva forwards the money at a zero interest rate to a local microfinance institution that is in contact with the person you want to lend money to. The microfinance institution earmarks the money to the specific person you chose. When the client repays, the money comes back to Kiva, then to your account, ready to be loaned again to someone of your choosing.
The most impressive part of Kiva is that it’s lent over half a BILLION dollars to poor people all over the world using money coming from people like you and me. Kiva brings people lives to our computers and gives us an opportunity to make a difference!!!
It’s like you can see the struggling farmer, and from the goodness of your heart, and the hearts of countless others, you can reach out and give $25 at a time!
And everyone I know can afford to give $25 at a time! We spend that on coffee every month! It’s chump change!
For videos on how Kiva works click on http://www.youtube.com/user/kiva
ABOUT HELPING HANDS INTERNATIONAL
Helping Hands International is a team I initiated on Kiva to get relatives, friends and readers like you to join hands together to make a difference. I believe that among the best actions we can do is “gladden the hearts of other human beings, feed the hungry, help the afflicted, lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful and remove the sufferings of the injured.” My personal commitment is to help at least one thousand people. Hope I live long enough to get there! You can see my Kiva loans to date at http://www.kiva.org/team/helping_hands_international
Many of the teams on Kiva are named after a person, a place, a religion, an orientation, a country or a philosophy. Helping Hands International invites anyone living anywhere in the world to come together to help people anywhere in the world despite color, language or nationality. As a result the name Helping Hands International. No ideological or religious connection, just filling practical need!
For those who want to support loans that follow strict Islamic principles, from Kiva to the local microfinance organization to the borrower (i.e. no interest to be paid, so there is no exploitation of the borrower anywhere along the chain) please see http://www.kiva.org/updates/kiva/2012/05/01/kivas-approach-to-lending-and-islamic.htmlas Kiva has local partners that provides loans that are shariah compliant. You can choose to help borrowers on the list of such local partners.
Examples of such borrowers from various Middle Eastern countries can be seen at http://www.kiva.org/lend#/?perPage=20&countries%5B%5D=&themes%5B%5D=Islamic+Finance
To help them, first join Kiva at http://www.kiva.org/ and then join team Helping Hands International at http://www.kiva.org/team/helping_hands_international
Hope to see you on board!
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