while looking through a financial magazine i noticed that there was a non-profit that was helping others around the world to invest in themselves and their small start up companies. 'Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.'
in other words you are not donating money, (well you can if you want) but you can loan money to people in other countries who are trying to raise money to expand their small businesses.
for example i loaned $25.00 to khanlar rustamov who is a 27-year-old farmer with two cows who sells dairy products to traders who, in turn, sell them in a nearby bazaar. 'He lives in the southern Azerbaijani region of Bilasuvar, where he relocated after fleeing Nagorniy Karabakh during Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict in 1993', khanlar wants a loan to buy one milk cow and two calves.
you don't have to loan $500.00!!! you can loan as little or as much as you want (with $25 being about the average).
i think this is a great way to help the people of the world take what little they have and instead of looking for a handout they have sought out a loan to make something of themselves. they have initiative and are not asking for a donation, but a chance to make a living and support their families. if you don't get involved in kiva, get involved somewhere.


James said…
Wow, this is really awesome. Thanks for sharing the link, man!
Janelle said…
I love this idea. I'm definitely going to contribute something as soon as I can.
Julia said…
You know I was just thinking about this organization the other day, but I couldn't remember the name of it. I had heard about it before and thought it was an amazing way to make sure your money was being put to use in the best possible way instead of a percentage being eaten up by "institutional" costs. Of course I forgot to write it down and was really wanting to remember and here it is. God's hand is so clearly evident in this reminder. Thanks for being the messenger!
nettie is short for antoinette said…
what a brilliant idea. and unlike donating to some organisation, you know exactly where the money is going, and can watch your investment develop. thanks for bringing this to our attention.
breanna maria said…
huh wow, this is a really great idea
as soon as i've got some money to spare, i'll be taking advantage of this great opportunity
Melanie said…
That's a rad website, thanks!
Shelby Taylor said…
you are a true visionary stephen (

keep it up.
Anonymous said…
you are such an inspiration to me!
your outlook on life, your focus on God, your philsophical quotes, everything.
thank you so much for posting this blog- you truly are my hero.
Andrea said…
ooh thank you so much stephen! this is really great, it's great to find things I can do right now as a homeschooled 16 year in the hill country ya know. like antoinette said, I like things like this where you can see exactly how you're helping and where the money is going. what a great way to support other countries! thanks again. this is exciting.
Rachel said…
I just wrote a blog about this! Its awesome! Saw it on Oprah. Its good stuff, and its addicting.
Chris said…
Thanks for posting. I've not heard anything about this organization and will definately check it out. When you think about it, no matter what our financial situation is, we can always give something. For me, just giving up 5-6 trips to Starbucks a month would allow me to give/loan $25 a month. We are truly blessed in the U.S. and we should all try to find ways to share the wealth. As Christians, we are called to do so. Thanks for the reminder!

P.S. I don't know if this specifically fits your post, but here's a quote I just read the other day I thought you might enjoy:

"The mark of a man is how he treats a person who can be of no possible use to him."
Orrin said…
I've been in love with kiva for about 6 months now and am glad you can tell more people about it. It really is a good way to help someone who is not looking for a hand out but just needs a hand.
this is something that more people need to know about. really.
this last summer when i spent some time in ghana, we got a lot of requests for loans like this.
it's incredible what these people can do with such small amounts.
they can start running a business with as little as like $'s amazing. we were able to help quite a few single mothers, and others in need.
it's really awesome to hear the stories of how their business was able to grow and stuff, all because of the little (to us) help we can provide.
it's such an insignificant amount of money to us...but makes such a huge differences in their lives.
i think there is some ancient chinese proverb that says something like "give a mean a fish and he is fed for a day, but teach a man to fish and he is fed for a lifetime' and this is a perfect example of that.
we are helping them to become self-sufficient and successful.
thanks again for giving this site some publicity.
andrya said…
thanks stephen for this post! I can't wait to do this! I am going to that site as soon as I am done writing this comment. Keep up the awesome work! You are simply amazing!!
themockingbyrd said…
Oho! Excellent, excellent. Bravo.

I'm becoming a man of few words on this site. *laugh*
Lizzy said…
i heard about this project in time magazine. it's supposed to be very well planned and managed, and also very sincere and above-board. i'd forgotten about it, and i'm glad you've brought it back to my attention, because i've been wanting to do something worthwhile with my extra money, but i don't especially like the idea of hand-outs.
WreckedAngel said…
This is an excellent idea. It makes me smile knowing that there are people out there who care about others.
Latrina said…
Wow, thats a beautiful and wonderful organization! If just a hundred people donated $25 to one person, that would make such a huge impact. This is a wonderful idea, thanks so much for posting the link. :)
Anonymous said…
can someone please look at my blog, esp u you!
Aims said…
Awesome cheers for sharing!
My class studied an organization thats like that they give micro credit loans to people so they can start their own small business and earn money then eventually pay off the loan. We made small businesses and with our money we eart we gave it to 'TEAR Australia' and you buy things for people in developing countries.
Champion move. I just wonder the lives you've helped abroad from a blog in America. I must say, this organization is an innovative way to help expedite the 3rd world to become more independent.
Jenny said…
It's amazing what such a small contribution from someone can help another achieve. Really, it doesn't take much to change someones world.

Anonymous said…
I agree with the thought of this, and maybe I'm being narrow minded, but what happens if the person doesn't get all the money they need, and therefore doesn't recieve the outcome that they need to produce to repay people? I would love to contribute, or donate, but I am a struggling college student with little funds. I was just thinking that if you were not paid back (I know that the majority would pay you back... but what if something happened), would you be able to write this off as a donation? Just a thought, feel free to give me the full low down, I don't understand it.

Also, I know you're a literature guy, I just read a pretty good little book this weekend for one of my classes. (Christian University in Omaha, NE) It's called Persepolis, and I also bought the follow up, Persepolis II. They are childrens books, so anybody no matter what age you are that reads this website would understand. I felt the book was really good, and seemed to get a lot of praise from other sources (not that what other people say make a book good...).

Thanks stephen, you're amazing.


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