December just started and Christmas is approaching really fast, which also means shopping for Christmas presents for beloved ones. Maybe it also happened to you that you bought a present for your family or a friend and it turned out to be a waste of money – no one ever used it. When you imagine that in other parts of the world are children who don’t get any presents, it feels a little bit wrong to spend money on something which is going to end up in a garbage.
A few years ago, when I was thinking what next to buy for my family, I just ran out of any ideas. But I was really eager to give more presents, so I solved the situation by buying several chickens for one African family. Of course not personally, but through an organization, that delivered the present to one family in need. My family got a nice Christmas card with the information where the money went. It made them happier and they felt inspired as well. This year I found something else, even more valuable. It’s called Kiva, the expert on sharing impact, the sustainable one.
#2: Sharing impact
Kiva is a website where you can empower people all around the world with a $ 25 loan. What does it actually mean and how is it different from a charity? First, it is a loan, so you are going to get your money back. Second, you know exactly whom you are lending money to and for which cause. It goes usually to small entrepreneurs who need investments to extend their business in order to increase their profit. Third, after you get your money back when the investment is repaid, you can withdraw the money or use it for another loan. This system is generally called microfinance and the inventor Dr. Muhammad Yunus has won the Nobel Peace Price for this idea.
If you’re asking how you can use it for a Christmas present, here’s the answer. Kiva created the Kiva Card which you can give to your friends or family. This card is actually an account created for the receiver with certain amount of money that you decided to put into. The receiver afterwards can lend the money to his or her favourite entrepreneurs all around the world.
What do you think about this idea? Are you in? I hope you are! Because sometimes just 25 $ can make a change, in this case not only once.
For more information look at this great video which explains how Kiva works on one specific example!
The first part of the series Internet Highlights is available here: http://www.lexiophiles.com/english/internet-highlights-1-sharing-sweetness