Jacquie Bridonneau a écrit pour ce blog un de ces articles intéressants et originaux dont elle a le secret. Vous êtes invités à envoyer une traduction française sous la forme d’un commentaire. Ce n’est pas une compétition, mais une saine émulation nous livrera certainement son lot de trouvailles. A vos claviers !
I just loaned $25.00 to a 59-year-old grandmother named Susan in Zimbabwe who will be using this money to buy chickens and popcorn to sell. “What the heck?” I can hear you saying. But with Kiva this is just a run of the mill situation, no big deal at all.
Let me tell you a bit more about this organization. Kiva.org is a nonprofit organization founded in San Francisco in 2005, so it’s quite recent as organizations come. With a loan as low as $25.00, you and others can help borrowers finance their projects, go back to school, access water or clean energy or start a business. And for me, what clinches the deal with this concept is that I feel that I’m giving people a helping hand; I’m not giving them a handout. Most of my loans, I would say 95%, have been paid back or are in the process of being paid back. I have lost a little money, but such a small amount that it is insignificant.
Of course, what can you do with a mere $25.00? Not much. But what Kiva does, is to take $25.00 loans from many people until the funds are raised. Most of these loans are for relatively tiny amounts, at least by our Western standards, say from $1,000.00 to $5,000.00, but in many countries, this is quite a hefty sum and one that allows people to finance their project, grow their business or pay for school expenses.
But what a “feel-good” feeling you have after making a loan. This is what I think spurs people to continue with Kiva. I am at my 83rd loan, with an average of one loan per month and this takes me on a virtual trip around the world where I “discover” countries I didn’t even know existed! (Yes, I am not proud of this fact). There are lots of cool statistics, on countries you have made loans to, types of projects you have helped finance, etc. and of course, before deciding on which project you would like to help finance, you are able to read the person’s story and why they are requesting a Kiva loan and this usually makes you want to Google the country to learn more about it.
But for those of you who can do quick mental calculations, you’re perhaps thinking, “$25.00 x 83 loans, that ends up to $2,075, which is quite a sum.” But remember these are loans and they are eventually paid back, meaning that for this amount of money loaned out, I am only actually “out” for less than $500.00. And the more you loan the faster you’ll be paid back. At the beginning, you pay out your $25.00 (or more of course) outright, but as time goes by, I’ve often made loans to other people using the money paid back into my account that month.
So, if you have an extra $25.00 and would like to help change someone’s world, check out Kiva! I’m sure you’ll like it.