L-R: Rosa, Judy, Susan, Debbie Absent: Kathi K.
In 2009 Rosa, Judy, Debbie, Kathi, and I began making microloans through Kiva. (http://www.kiva.org/) We agreed that in a small way we would help women who needed money. At the start we each contributed $25 and invested $125, one project at a time. Loan repayments were eventual, and we were patient. Of our nine loans, two fell into default. When that happened we took the hit, added money to our Rainbow Women account, and help fund another project.
Kiva does not permit contact with a borrower, which is fine and understandable. We lost track of Amelia in Liberia, and our loan went into default. In 2014 the Ebola virus devastated the country. As much as we wanted to know about Amelia’s well-being, we were never told. Our second default occurred recently. Rochelle in South Africa needed money to purchase equipment for her daycare center and had repaid 55 percent of our loan. We understand that default is always a possibility.
Kiva projects are supported by individuals and groups. To reach a funding goal, projects need to attract many lenders. For example, we helped Aminata in Senegal raise $1,075. Twenty-two other lenders pitched in. Our next loan of $200 will cause a ripple effect. Improve the life of one woman and those around her will also benefit.
Here are photos of the amazing people we chose to help with a Kiva microloan.
Miriam, Barranquilla, Columbia
Florinda, Morropon-Piura, Peru
Rochelle, Lenasia, South Africa
Zenaida Gonzalez, Group President – Estado de Mexico
Vicky, Gudele, South Sudan
Marusya, Ovorhangai Province, Mongolia
Rainbow Women has made loans in education, agriculture, food, and retail. Kiva has 11 more categories to consider. Choosing a project is definitely a challenge. Everyone has a compelling reason for the loan. A woman in Vietnam needs a toilet. A woman in Ukraine wants to fix her roof and buy radiators. Fifty-nine women in the U.S. are looking for loans. A beekeeping project caught my eye – bees are universally vital. Others agreed, and the project has been fully funded. You might like to join the many individuals and groups who reach out and help through Kiva.