Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day (learn more here). I won't go into a huge post here, other than to say it's a time when bloggers are supposed to come together and post about one topic. This year's topic is: Poverty. I'll throw out two links for your consideration...
I am a member and have made donations on this site. I trust them. (though I admit, I have a fear that the site can be mis-used - such is the nature of any charity.) But at some point you have to put aside this fear, and just give in the faith of human nature to do good. If I hear the Kiva has made a mistake, or has been exploited, I'll simply look for another charity.
I should also say, Kiva is not a "typical charity". You are not just donating money to some corporation. You are simply making a loan to someone who: a) REALLY needs it! b) you'll get your money back (if you want it). I'll try to nutshell the kiva idea here, but please go to to read more about it... Kiva is based on somthing called "micro loans". You can make a loan for a small amount (usually $25). The idea being that I could afford to loose this money financially, in that it's not a huge investment. Then with lots of people who can afford this micro-loan, kiva collects the $, and then loans it out (yes, like a bank) to small groups of community organizers, who then in turn, carefully pick one person, or a group of people, to lend the money to. The idea is that for someone who lives in poverty, a $1000 loan could change their life forever and for the better. For example, it would allow "Salimata Diallo" a young woman who is a reputed dressmaker, to purchase materials and fabric, to expand her business. (yes, I donated/loaned to Salimata).
Over a course of time, the borrower is to repay the loan back, to kiva, who then repays me. (you can choose to "cash out" and get your money, or in my exmaple, I just turn around and loan the same money out again to someone else who needs it.
One last thing... (I really was gonna try to keep this short - fail).
Kiva is REALLY Popular now! So popular that at the moment there are NO groups to actually loan to! They are out looking for more people to loan to! That's amazing! To date, they've loaned out $46 MILLION to the working poor around the world.

I found this guy through a youtube video called the nerdfighters. His name is Shawn, a 27 year old Canadian, who is single-handedly making a difference in the fight against poverty. (I say single-handedly, but he accepts donations and help from others, but it's been his idea to do this project.) He runs a website called He travels in India and Bangldesh (I think he's currently home though at the moment). I'm not doing a good job here of describing what Shawn does... Instead, I simply encourage you to visit his website and check it out. IF you're like me and would prefer a video, try this one on youtube. About 6 minutes long.

No comments: