My daughter dropped by yesterday. No surprise there really. It was Father's Day and I'm her Dad! We are really close and no matter how old she gets, she'll always be my little girl and yet, I am so proud of the woman she's become!
The real surprise was her Father's Day present to me. It wasn't overly expensive. She didn't have to go to a great deal of trouble to get it. In fact, all she had to do was sit at her computer, hit a few keys and then hit print!
They say that it's the thought that counts.... and her thought may continue "counting" for ever!
My wonderful, thoughtful daughter gave me a Gift Certificate so that I would begin "investing" with KIVA. KIVA is a microlending system where you can lend money (as little as $25) to entrepreneurs that don't have the access to a banking system as they live in poverty or don't have the resources or credit necessary to qualify for a loan.
These people apply for loans for all sorts of needs, many to start or build small businesses to climb out of the poverty. The repayment rate is approximately 98% and you can review all of the different applicants in a variety of way, from how much they are looking to borrow (you can contribute any or all of the request), how much more they need to raise before they can be advanced the loan, what part of the world they live in and more!
Once I reviewed all of the prospective applicants, I chose a young woman much like my daughter, who lives in the Philippines and required a loan to repair and buy new fishing nets. She promises to repay the loan within several months. Once the loan is repayed, I will have the choice to take my money back or reinvest it with someone else.
The interest earned - NOTHING! The payback - knowing that, through my daughter's thoughtfulness, I have helped some motivated young person get a "hand up" to escape poverty and the wonderful feeling that gives me.
You can also join or create a lending group to create a community of like-minded individuals to fund great and lesser causes! I have created a lending group or team called "Real Estate Professionals for KIVA" Please consider joining me in helping to help others get a "hand-up" instead of a "handout"!
here is the Lending Team invitation text that may discribe the whole thing better than I am able to:
I want to recruit you to my lending team, Real Estate Professionals for KIVA, on Kiva, a non-profit website that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur across the globe. You choose who to lend to - whether a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, a restaurateur in Cambodia, or a tailor in Iraq - and as they repay the loan, you get your money back.
If you join my lending team, we can work together to alleviate poverty. Once you're a part of the team, you can choose to have a future loan on Kiva "count" towards our team's impact. The loan is still yours, and repayments still come to you - but you can also choose to have the loan show up in our team's collective portfolio, so our team's overall impact will grow!
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!