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Be a banker, micro style

With the season of giving just around the corner, charitable donations might be facing a drop this year due to the bad economic climate. There is, however, a different kind of charity; one where you get your money back

Sophea Chum in Cambodia has benefited from a loan. Image taken by John Briggs

The Kiva organisation connects individual lenders to small borrowers in developing countries, via local microfinancing agents. This allows Kiva to be more personal than regular charities by letting donors choose who they want to lend to, while offering a 98.93% repayment rate.

Although there existed some controversy about Kiva in 2009, it has since corrected these issues and has become evermore popular.

Welsh donor Richard Ryan said, “I joined Kiva and loan as a way to contribute by providing support and opportunity to people working hard to improve their lives and communities.”

“Kiva lending isn’t even really a ‘charity’,” said Nigel, another donor, “a loan really costs us nothing and makes much better use of any ‘spare’ money than leaving it sitting in a bank.”

 

Impartial Kiva statistics can be found here.