Kiva Like the Wind!
My Addiction Based Lending Policy
Not My Money:
Tonight, I will give away someone else’s money, their cabbage, clams, c-note, sawbucks, a singular “Benjamin”… via Kiva.org.
Read more about the sponsor’s deep generosity and general awesomeness.
For the uninitiated (me), an excerpt about Kiva.org from their site:
We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
“Alleviate poverty”, check! “$25", I’m in!
Not so Easy to Kiva:
On Kiva, one can easily lose hours poring over profiles. It’s not easy deciding whether to support farmers who require raw materials in Peru or families in Mongolia wanting to increase energy efficiency. To compound the confusion, the loans are dispensed through intermediaries. Each intermediary has its own costs and interest rates ranging from zero to beyond 30%. At first blush this feels a bit steep, but more research is required before weighing in on the fees and interest structure.
Funding My Addictions:
I am hopelessly addicted <gasp> to caffeine, coffee being the favorite form of ingestion. Coffee has come a long way from the bizarre “Coffee Generation” adverts of the 1980's to now being hawked as an Alzheimer’s preventative. By targeting Mexico and Central America with investment perhaps our efforts may lessen the effects of coffee blight which seriously may threaten many local economies (this being my own hope and conjecture).The coffee blight is also known as “rust fungus”. Its effects are well known at lower altitudes, but climate change has exposed crops which were once safe in higher altitudes, wreaking havoc on crops.It is estimated that nearly one million jobs will be lost in the region due to the spread of the rust fungus.
Jamie’s money has been invested in Evelia, a widow growing coffee with her three children, and Armando, both of whom have paid back loans to Kiva in the past. Though the interest rate of the intermediary lender was initially off-putting, but there is more research to be done on how this affects the borrower and what is common in the industry.
Dishes and Slumber Await:
Thank you, Jamie, for the opportunity to spread your good will through Kiva. I look forward to seeing what happens with these investments and adding more of my own. One must now tend to the glamorous duties of dishes and transient sleep. - Good Night