Can a $25 loan change someone’s life? Well, maybe not $25 on its own. But when you have several loans totaling a few hundred dollars, it can change a life.
A few months ago, I stumbled across Kiva on Twitter. Kiva is “a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.”
As I was scrolling through the potential borrowers on Kiva, one particular woman, Maria, caught my eye. Maria is an elderly woman from El Salvador. According to Kiva, “People 60 years old and older in El Salvador have limited access to credit, even when fully physically and mentally capable of working. The reason is insurance companies don’t cover people who are over 65 and require them to show a health certificate if they are over 60. This potential for health expenses makes financial institutions less willing to take on the risk of the loan. By funding this loan, you are helping elderly people access opportunities in El Salvador.”
Maria’s story appealed to me. “María lives in her own house with her daughter and three grandchildren. She has lived there for four years. One of her sons who is independent helps her economically, but she is a fighter who likes to work so she can cover household expenses that arise. For this reason, five years ago she decided to start a sale of drinks and snacks. Because of her experience, she has not had difficulties.
She has asked for a loan to be able to purchase juices, sodas, water, flour, tomatoes, condiments, snacks, etc to be able to increase her inventory. She will continue to prepare and sell snacks such as fried yucca, cakes and others. Maria hopes to take advantage of the Christmas celebrations and New Years in order to increase her sales as well as her income. Her dream is to continue working, pay off her loan and help her family to have daily support.”
I and many others fully funded Maria’s loan request. And she has already made her first repayment! She is scheduled to repay her loan to me over six months. Once it has been repaid, I will look for another loan request on which to contribute.
If you haven’t heard of Kiva, check them out. What an amazing service!
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. ~ Proverbs 19:17
UPDATE: My loan has been totally repaid. 6/20/16