One of my 101 in 1001 items is to add money to my Kiva account and lend it. I first learned about Kiva when my stepsister gifted me and Jared a $50 donation in our name for our wedding in September 2012. It was such a unique gift and so nice to have a chance to do something for others when so much of our energy had been focused on ourselves! Kiva is a nonprofit that supports microfinancing organizations that make small loans around the world. I remember reading that small loans, particularly to women to start businesses, are one of the most effective ways to alleviate poverty in impoverished communities.
One of the cool things about Kiva is that it really is a loan. So once your lendee pays back the money, you can relend it to other borrowers! I’ve gotten to relend parts of the original $50 a few times, and I got an email saying I had $31 and some change to relend available. So today, I added $20 to my account so I could make two loans (they are made in increments of $25) and a small donation to Kiva’s operating expenses. I supported two young moms with businesses, one to a woman in Kyrgyzstan with three preschoolers who works as a teacher and owns a cattle business, and another to a woman in Kenya who owns a shop.
If you want to check it out, use my link and I can earn a bonus to lend! http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/beccaandjared7963