One of the things I’m most enjoying about parenting is giving with my son Noah (he’s four and a bit). Working out how to do that can be fun and one of the ways we use the most is giving through Kiva.
Kiva is a great example of using the power of technology to harness giving and generosity. Essentially it is a global network of micro-finance groups linked to Kiva who give out loans helping people out of poverty. Here’s how it works.
Noah and I can sit at my laptop and choose who to help, sometimes we do that by country and sometimes by what they need the money for. So if you’re looking for a loan from Noah it helps if you have a big truck, a tractor or you’re in need of manure!
We can read about their lives and the countries they come from. We get to talk about how many people all over the world have a lot less than us. In small, gentle steps my son’s eyes are being opened to poverty and our chance to give. Every time we give, we realise how blessed we are and important it is that those of us who are rich give to those in need. The best form of redistribution is out of a thankful, generous and willing heart.
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We enjoy getting updates on loans being repaid (and although we could reclaim the money we never do but simply recycle it to the next recipient) and we enjoy seeing the facts and figures that Kiva generates.
For those who are interested we’ve given loans to people in Samoa, Philippines, Mexico, Bolivia, Georgia, Benin, Kosovo, Burundi, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Paraguay, Nicaragua & Cambodia! 83% have been to women.
So far we haven’t yet succeeded in lending as a group but that’s really easy to do and I think that would be a great step to see families give together and collaborate in generosity. So feel free to join in, it’s linked to Facebook and easy to make social.