Kiva – Loans that change lives

Kiva – Loans that change lives

Editors note: For a practical experience review of Kiva, check out this link. The below and images are taken directly from Kiva‘s media resources.

At a high level

Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, that celebrates and supports people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school or realize their potential. And since it’s a loan, not a donation, you can recycle the same funds over and over to multiply your impact.

Through Kiva, each of us has the power to create opportunity and help others work towards their dreams— whether it’s a loan to a farmer in rural Kenya or a rooftop farmer in Detroit.

How it works

  • Choose a borrower. Browse categories of borrowers — people looking to grow businesses, go to school, switch to clean energy and more.
  • Make a loan. Help fund a loan with as little as $25.
  • Get repaid. Kiva borrowers have a 97% repayment rate.
    Repeat!
  • Recycle your funds to support another borrower or
    withdraw them.

Kiva’s vision:
We envision a world where all people hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others. We believe lending alongside thousands of others is one of the most powerful and sustainable ways to create economic and social good.

A case study – Letticia’s story

Wedza, Zimbabwe

Letticia is a farmer in the district of Wedza in Zimbabwe. She used her Kiva loan to purchase a water pump, irrigation pipes and fertilizer to increase production on her land.

The investment has allowed her to expand her farm’s acreage to produce more crops. It is now mixed with the maize, beans, tomatoes and sugar cane that cover the ground in green. She also just started raising goats.

Letticia’s father passed away, making her the family’s primary provider and leader. She and her farm are now sources of great family and community pride. Her new income is helping her take care of her family, including two children left to her after her sisters’ deaths. She pays for all the children’s school fees, clothes and food.

More about Camfed and one of Letticia’s meetings: As part of Camfed’s model, the women take part in monthly meetings where they mentor young female entrepreneurs and provide support.

Patrick, our fellow in Zimbabwe, described the meeting below and quoted several borrowers, who were likely a mix of Kiva and non-Kiva borrowers:

After some formalities, the girls each stood and introduced themselves. We heard one touching story after another of how these young women’s lives had been completely transformed because of their businesses – not just from the income, but the new place they now hold in their household and their community. And many of them are employing others in their townships, thus extending the benefit of their success.

“My husband respects me now because I earn a living.”
“I now have an income, and I am also providing my community with meat!”
“I can pay for my sisters’ clothes and tuition.”
“Now I come with a contribution.”

More on Letticia’s loan

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