My first Kiva loan was paid back 100% today!
Beatrix and I chose a young woman pig farmer in the Philippines, and I have to say it's exciting to know that we helped her business thrive. When I visited the Philippines, and my friend Merv's family there, I was very taken by the people and the culture.
I struggle a lot about where my charitable dollars should go. In general, I prefer to have my donations go to local (mostly arts) causes, because I think it's important to keep money in the community. I like seeing the immediate effects it has. I confess to being totally overwhelmed by freshwater wells in Africa, or malaria eradication, or any number of important causes, because it seems so far away and the issue so huge; whereas I know $25 thrown to a small theatre company here has an enormous effect.
Kiva helps me a little, though, with making that distance seem a little smaller, and a little more personal. And Beatrix like's Sunde's pigs (we've not yet told her where bacon comes from...)
Want to try it out for free?