This blog post is part of Zemanta's "Blogging For a Cause" campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.
I've been meaning to blog about Kiva, and Zemanta's Blogging for a Cause campaign was a bit of a kick in the pants to actually post.
For mother's day this year, I asked for Kiva gift certificates, and my family gave me $50. Kiva is a microlending facilitator. People who have money to spare can lend money to people who could use a small boost. I was able to help fund a loan for a woman in Peru who makes knitwear and cheese, and runs a store. Kiva says: "With this loan of 2500 soles, to be repaid in four installments, she will invest in the purchase of barley, animals, and supplies to make foods to carry in her store." I also invested in a group of entrepreneurs in Bolivia. I may have been influenced into investing by the woman wearing a baby in a sling made of colourful Bolivian fabrics.
My daughter has invested her babysitting/dogsitting money in a noodle seller, and with a friend, has raised money through lemonade stands to make a few more investments.
Bonus! There's a Ravelry team, so you can feel part of a team as you help people.
These are loans to real people in real situations, and there is some risk, though the risk seems fairly low. But if the loan is repaid, then you get the money back and can invest again.