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Kiva Micro Loans

August 28, 2021

August is Family History Month in Australia and New Zealand, and to celebrate, Alex from Family Tree Frog has come up with a really great blogging challenge. The Challenge is to blog each week in August. This is my 8th post for National Family History Month.

Part 1: The story behind Kiva's brand refresh | by Kiva | Medium

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.

My Involvement

I am extremely passionate about this cause and have re-loaned my original $25 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 Judy Webster, a genealogist friend tweeted about it. I immediately made a donation, as it seemed like a great way of making a difference, without having to invest a large amount of money.

Very quickly Genealogists for Families, of which I’m a member, was set up and registered as a team on the Kiva site. There were just a handful of genealogists in the team at the beginning, but we now have 375 members from many 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 15,501 loans for a total of $414,075 donated, as each member has loaned and re-loaned their original $25.

So far, my original donation has now become a total of $875.00, loaned to borrowers from 19 countries. This figure shocks me every time I see it. No matter how much I supported a cause, I wouldn’t be able to make a donation of $875.00. Microloans make it possible to make a huge difference without a huge financial outlay.

I love choosing my borrowers, deciding on a borrower from a particular sector and country. 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 successful businesses, and provide income for their families.

The sectors I have loaned to over the years, are food, agriculture, retail, clothing, education, health and wholesale. The locations are Kenya, Philippines, Peru, Armenia, Bolivia, El Salvador, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Rawanda, Uganda.

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 have had just one borrower default on a loan. The default amount was only for the final payment of $2.42, so I wasn’t at all concerned.

Kiva quote the repayment rate as 96%. 100% of the money donated goes to the borrower. A total amount of $1.6 billion dollars has been loaned by 1.9 million lenders in 77 countries. To me this is proof that small loans can definitely make a huge difference.

My Latest Loan

Borrower image

My latest loan, made just a few days ago, was to Susan from Eldoret, Rift Valley, Kenya who is raising money to buy cereals, to add to her business of dairy and crop farming. Susan is a mother of three children, and has been a farmer for more than a decade.

If you would like to loan to Susan click here

To join our Genealogists For Families team click here

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

From → Kiva

  1. Dear Jennifer – What a fantastic effort you have made for #NFHM this year. And you’ve ended the month with a bang making sure that you share the good fortune we all have as family historians. I have contributed to Susan as well. May the joy continue for a long time. Thanks again for making such a positive contribution to our challenge 🙂

  2. From little things big things grow! It’s a good feeling to think we’re making a difference to families around the world.

  3. That is so inspiring Jennifer, lovely idea.

  4. Jennifer, I was going to finally do a blog post for NFHM however made the mistake of reading your post about Kiva. I recently got back some repayments making two 25 dollar loans possible. Instead of blogging, I enjoyed myself hunting through the loan options to select 2 new loans to support. Kiva is a great concept and very worthwhile supporting. Fran

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  1. August Family History Month Update #sentenceaday #NFHM021 | Tracking Down The Family

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