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.