MicroLending for Charity

My original goals for blogging were to discuss and invite conversation on things going on around me and in software development a few times a month – but this last month was crazy – a week at Cub Scout Camp with my son, family vacation, Fourth of July activities inclduing a trip back to my hometown of Emery, SD for their 125th birthday celebration – and nothing says vacation like coming back to work to double the workload until you get caught up.
At work, starting to get some exposure to WPF and some interesting things I’ll blog about later about that but I had to share something that perhaps most other people knew about that I didn’t – charity micro-lending.  My sister had mentioned that perhaps we should sponsor some 3rd World children as a family project – mainly because we believe that when we compare our issues to others with real problems, it helps gain perspective
As I started investigating options , I came across Kiva.org – the organization that Bono of U2 had been pushing a year or so I guess but I had never really looked at.
Its all based on loaning small amounts of money to people in other parts of the world where that money makes a big difference – and then once the loan is paid back, that money is yours to loan to others and keep the cycle going – it seems to be monitored incredibly well to reduce fraud, theft and the loan repayment rates appear to be well over 95%
So I checked it out, put my toe in the water and started with $25 in my account and found a lady in Tanzania who was raising some money for a poultry project – her name is Enea Sanga – she looked like a nice woman with a goal so I joined 7 others from around the world (including Indianapolis, Washington, and even Norway) to loan her the $175 she needed for a new poultry project – I am amazed at how little money it can take in some of these countries to make life-changing events happen to people with goals.  In fact, one of the struggles of this organization is that too many people don’t understand that its a loan and that once it is paid back, that money is yours to loan to others – too many people see it as a donation, and forget to check their account balance, and many good Samaritans forget about the money that is repaid back to them that they could be helping others with.
Here is Enea and her story is here
She is on pace to have the loan paid in 14 months, but as she pays the money back (and I have been paid back $3.36 so far), I can put that money to use elsewhere
I even formed a lending team (just for fun but perhaps other locals may join it) to help direct larger chunks of money towards specific projects and help them get started sooner
Check them out – here are some nationwide articles about them http://www.kiva.org/about/press/
Its not much so far but I plan on devoting more money to this cause and I seem to like it more and more each day, and makes life just a little bit more fun.

About bradosterloo

.NET Software Developer working for Innovative Systems, LLC in Mitchell, SD
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