I enjoy the season-wide practices of living in the gift of each moment and giving from the spirit of activism. Thanks to non-profit organizations like Kiva, which provide a worldwide hub for micro-finance lending institutions, a lifestyle of socially supportive GLOBAL contributions are possible all year long! In 2009, I created and produced Jewish World Watch’s event Global Soul: An Evening of Action and Vision, honoring the co-founder Rabbi Harold Schulweis. The evening was a culmination of inspiring community engagement and prevention of genocide and mass atrocities throughout the world. As a gracious thank you for my efforts, Janice Kaminar Resnik (a co-founder) and Tziva Schwartz Getzug (the Executive Director) gave me a Kiva account, granting me the opportunity to lend money that can alleviate poverty and build sustainability in other countries. With the funds in my Kiva account I chose to lend to:
Mairambi, a 41-year-old widowed mother of five living in Tajikistan (a country Northeast of Afghanistan), $350 towards the purchase of a calf for supporting her family from its milk.
Islam, a grocery store owner in Azerbaijan and married father of two, with a $2000 loan to expand the inventory of goods at his popular neighborhood convenience store, open late hours to support those who work full time.
A kinship of women in a region of the Republic of Mali, manage a small farm for harvest and sale at a weekly fair; their $1325 loan went towards the purchase of 16 sacks of fertilizer, 800 kg of millet, and hiring male farm laborers. The profit is used for covering health care costs and schooling for their children, along with processing and purchasing livestock feed.
Rose, a 50-year old business lady and married mother of six, knits sweaters for schools and individual clients in Jinja, Uganda. With her $1750 loan she may stock more threads for her business and expand to own a bigger workshop and train others; her intention is to build up a savings to support her children’s continued education for a better future.
Each of these individuals and groups repaid their full loan within one to eight months! The positive impact resulting from a simple click of funds across the Internet is an effort we can join to responsibly assist the livelihood of others. I have since been a supporter and fan of the micro-loans through Kiva for celebrating birthdays, holidays and a cool way to say thank you to someone... What will you choose to do as a global citizen of change? RESOURCES: Kiva - http://www.kiva.org/about/how Jewish World Watch - http://www.jewishworldwatch.org/