If you haven’t heard of Kiva before then you’re in for a “feel good” treat. More on Kiva in a second…
As you know, Get Simplifized! has an Amazon Store (click on the STORE tab above) and we make about four cents on the dollar for items purchased on the store. Now, four percent isn’t much, but with the Holiday season quickly sneaking up, many of you will be turning to Amazon to make purchases. You have the power of the entire Amazon site on our Store…simply click “Powered By Amazon” in the upper left corner of the store!
Well, from today forward, Get Simplifized! will be using a good portion of the profits from our Amazon Store to support Kiva. Just an administrative note, according to our agreement with Amazon we want to make sure you know that Get Simplifized! and this campaign is not endorsed or promoted by Amazon and we don’t want to infer any involvement from them. It’s just “us” trying to give something back.
So what is Kiva? Kiva is an organization that helps poor entrepreneurs get funding to support their businesses. That funding comes from people all over the world who loan money to those who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to secure a fair loan due to expense, corruption in the lending system, or other factors that make borrowing money unattainable. My family has been a supporter of Kiva for a couple years now and have had the pleasure of helping over a dozen poor entrepreneurs in Rwanda, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic Of the Congo, Togo, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and Tajikistan. It is a hand-up, not a hand out. So, we decided to continue that with our Get Simplifized! Store.
Well, Get Simplifized! readers/shoppers just made their very first loan to…Rebecca! She sells ‘gari’ in Ghana (gari is a food made from cassava…had to look that one up). Rebecca has no educational background, is divorced and has five dependents. She has been in this trade for six years now. She sees to the well-being of her family with the income she makes from her sales. Her loan will be used to buy more ‘gari’ to sell and she anticipates reinvesting her profit back into her business. Good for Rebecca…you go girl!
You can find more about Kiva at kiva.org, but I’ve copied some info from the site here:
Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.
Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.
As of November 2009, Kiva has facilitated over $100 million in loans! (That’s awesome!)
Kiva was born of the following beliefs:
People are by nature generous, and will help others if given the opportunity to do so in a transparent, accountable way.
The poor are highly motivated and can be very successful when given an opportunity.
By connecting people we can create relationships beyond financial transactions, and build a global community expressing support and encouragement of one another.
Dignity: Kiva encourages partnership relationships as opposed to benefactor relationships. Partnership relationships are characterized by mutual dignity and respect.
Accountability: Loans encourage more accountability than donations where repayment is not expected.
Transparency: The Kiva website is an open platform where communication can flow freely around the world.
Our mantra here at Get Simplifized! has always been Life: Simplified…Organized. With your help, we can make some struggling entrepreneur’s Life, with all the odds against them, a little bit more Simplified, too. Maybe you could check out Kiva’s site and consider lending to someone as well? Last year, we gave Kiva gift certificates to some friends who already “have everything” so they can use it to lend as well…so much better than giving “gag gifts” that end up in a landfill somewhere, ya know?
So, thank you for your readership, your support of Get Simplifized! and now your support of Kiva!