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#AtoZChallenge K is for Kiva

April 12, 2018

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers to publish a post from A-Z every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. The theme I have chosen for 2018 is The Story Of Me

Kiva is a non profit organisation that works with microfinance institutions to enable people, without access to banks, to expand their businesses, educate their children and provide a better future for themselves and their families.

A lender, of which I am proudly one, chooses a borrower to support with a loan of $25. Other lenders, combine to add the same amount until the required total is reached. All being well, the borrower quickly starts to pay back the amount in small instalments to all lenders until the loan has been paid out.

When a lender’s $25 is paid back, they can choose to withdraw it or to re-loan it to another borrower. Money that has been loaned and re-loaned over and over does more good than a one time donation.


I am extremely passionate about this cause and have re-loaned my original $25 many many times over. I get to choose who receives it, male or female, the sector that they are employed in and their country. Kiva loans are my preferred way of giving.

I first heard about Kiva in 2011, when a genealogist friend tweeted about it. Very quickly Genealogists for Families was set up and registered as a team on the Kiva site. There were just a handful of genealogists at the beginning, but our team now numbers more than 340 members from over 16  countries. It is not necessary to be a genealogist to join our team. The team is made up of genealogists and their friends and families. Our original donations have now funded 9,540 loans for a total of $262,275 donated, as each member has loaned and re-loaned their original $25.

Shortly after the team was created, new members joined very quickly and the amount of money loaned was climbing. Later in 2011, we won an award for Best New Community Project which was very exciting.

So far, my original donation has been re-loaned 27 times for a total of $700. This figure shocks me every time I see it. No matter how much I supported a cause, I wouldn’t be able to donate $700. Microloans make it possible to make a huge difference without a huge financial outlay.

I love choosing my borrowers, deciding which country, and which sector they will be from. Kiva provides a brief bio of a borrower and how they intend to use the money. Some examples are to buy flour to bake bread for their street stall, or to buy equipment for their tiny business. I tend to loan to women mostly as I think, in some of these countries, they could be facing big battles to have a successful business and provide income for their families.

The risk with these micro loans is that it is possible that a borrower could default. I decided the risk was worth taking, as it was such a small amount. As yet, I haven’t had a borrower default on a loan.

Kiva quote the repayment rate as 96.9%. 100% of the money donated goes to the borrower. A total amount of $1.1 billion dollars has been loaned in 86 countries. To me this is proof that small loans can definitely make a huge difference.

The chart below shows the distributon of my loans and the areas that I have chosen. You can see that I tend to choose food and agriculture. The next chart shows the countries that I’ve chosen. There is no reason for Kenya being the largest. I tend to go by the borrower’s story rather than the country.


If you have any questions about Kiva microloans, just ask in the comments and I will answer if I can.

Please visit again to see my story unfold. 


  1. What a wonderful idea Jennifer and easy to do really. $25 is so doable and isn’t it wonderful to know how many people you have helped. I’ve not heard of this before so thanks for writing about it and promoting it!

  2. I am part of this group too. I never figured out how much my original investment has been used over and over how many times.

  3. How interesting… I’m going to look into this.

  4. What a great idea Jennifer – and a very worthy cause – it’s like the gift that keeps on giving.

    Leanne |
    K for Keep Trying

  5. Mummy's Monkey permalink

    I have a penpal who loans to kiva quite often and I always think it sounds amazing. Such a simple idea and yet so effective. I need to look into whether we have sonething similar in the UK

  6. I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

    Thank you, Chris

    I joined with Judy’s group not long after she started it along with many other friends… it is a great way to help many, for such little outlay. I have added a few extra lots of $25 or made up the extra to complete one more loan from time to time. but the feedback of knowing that we are helping so many is wonderful. I all this time, I have only had one default.

    • Thanks for adding me to your Friday post Chris. I joined joined Judy’s group when it started up also. It’s been great to watch it grow, I should have mentioned the Kiva gift cards. I’ve given a couple of them also. It’s a great cause

      • You’re welcome, Jennifer… the gift cards are a great idea. It was a great choice for your K post.

  7. This sounds like an amazing scheme. Well done for all your support and sharing the details. I’ve never heard of it.

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