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Oct. 1st, 2012 @ 07:56 pm Kiva stuff
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
It's well known (at least to my twitter followers) that I'm a huge fan of investing in companies in 'emerging economies' through Kiva. We had about USD 100 in our account, so it was time to make a few more loans. However, it was quite hard to find a loan I could get enthusiastic about. I prefer to loan to individual women entrepreneurs, preferrably in the field of computers or communication -- such as an internet café or cell phone services. Not many loans fit those preferences, but there are some here and there.
And then I use a spreadsheet by the Kiva Atheist Group to check the Field Partner to see if they're not religious. I refuse to loan through religious (mostly christian) charities, because that gives the impression that religion has a monopoly on charity. As a secular humanist, I think that people are worthwhile because they're people -- not because my imaginary friend tells me to help them. One field partner even organises regular bible study sessions -- how is that going to help with fighting poverty!?
I'm sorry to say that many of the loans that I would consider, do not meet my requirement for being administered by a secular field partner.

Today, I got a message from XacBank, the field partner in Mongolia that we have loaned through a few times. They are secular and have a five-star rating. One of the loans we did was for Dolgorsuren, who invested the money into new computer equipment for her business. The loan was scheduled to be repaid in 26 months -- and she paid off her loan in four months! Clearly, the investment paid off, and I'm proud of having been able to help her. Now, this message was that she was taking out a new loan -- she wants to invest in her business to increase her earning capacity to send her two daughters through college.
Of course, I wasn't going to pass up on that one.

If you want to try out Kiva risk-free, you can get a 'free' loan of USD 25. Use this link and start your global investment portfolio!
(Full disclosure: by using that link and signing up, not only will you help entrepreneurs in developing countries better their situation, but we will also get a 'free' loan as well.)
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