Back in December 2014 I received one of the best gifts I could have ever imagined from my team. They gave me a gift card to KIVA. If you are not familiar with Kiva, it is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Kiva does this by leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of micro-finance institutions, allowing individuals to lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Since Kiva was founded in 2005 here are some statistics that give you a sense of their scale:
- 1,255,618 Kiva lenders
- $666,141,075 in loans
- 98.79% repayment rate
- 100% of every dollar is loaned out
- 289 Field Partners
- 0% is charged in interest to the Field Partners (loan administer)
- 450 volunteers around the world
- 85 different countries
Kiva in essence envision a world where all people – even in the most remote areas of the globe – hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others. They do this by providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need which helps people create better lives for themselves and their families.
This is a good example of where giving has multiple benefits, and where it helps to create sustainability and growth for individuals, economies and societies.
So this evening, I selected four different loan programs to allocate the resources I received. Each of these individuals and groups are quite courageous in their endeavors. While there are many strategies and approaches, I focused my loans:
1) on growing a business – as that is a way to create long term sustainability
2) on organizations that provide entrepreneurial support to the borrowers – as that is key to business growth
3) on vulnerable groups in vulnerable areas – the definition of underserved by any measure and
4) on Field Partner organizations that help educate the borrowers on finances and savings.
I am looking forward to following the progress, individual efforts and the program overall. This was by far one of the most thoughtful, beautiful and best gifts I could have ever received. Helping others in a way that is empowering and encouraging of so many skills is gratifying. While I loaned a gift this evening to four groups of individuals, I received something far greater in return. The more I gave this evening the more fulfilled and excited I became. My team and I are helping others fulfill their dreams for their families, their communities and themselves. And with a 98.79% repayment rate, the cycle will start all over again. How wonderful is that!
So to my team – Thank you for your generosity and creativeness in finding such a wonderful program. I pray these individuals receive all of life’s blessings…good health, good fortune and the ability to create the world they imagine full of endless possibilities.