I have been a Kiva lender since 2008 and a big fan and promoter – used to get people together at my house from different walks of life, to not only lend but to meet new people who also wanted to do something good. Over the years I have had three such groups meet up once in a while and together we had a great time viewing possible lenders, discussing who we would lend to and why/why not.
85% of the entrepreneurs we lent to were women.
57% of our loans went to the Food sector.
Asia and Africa was our main choice of regions to lend to.
At the moment I am without a group (let me know if you want to join one), but I still re-lend the funds that are repaid into my Kiva account. Such a great system, re-loaning over and over – making a big difference with a few funds.
To my delight Kiva recently announced the publishing of a book related to visiting the entrepreneurs receiving Kiva loans across the globe, The International Bank of Bob – written by Bob Harris, a luxury travel writer gone “good”. Wanting more, Harris sets out to look into Kiva and microlending in-depth, asking all the questions a lender might possibly have, finding the answers out there in the “field”.
“If you ever wished you could travel to meet the borrowers you’ve supported on Kiva, now is your chance. Join author and television writer Bob Harris on his poignant journey to speak with dozens of borrowers around the world and understand how the loans you make on Kiva shape their lives.”
The book seems to take the reader beyond just regular travel journalism – this is traveling with a cause. Where does the money go that we lend? Does it do any good? Why does tech work better in some regions than others? Are we making any difference, really? Beyond answering these questions the book gives you an inside glimpse of real life, real conditions – beyond glamorous tourist sites, restaurants serving western menu and hotel rooms with AC.
Definetly on my reading list!
Now I need to make my next Kiva loan – what woman should I choose today?