The KIVA Experience update (www.kiva.org)
I came across KIVA a few years ago when I wanted to find out more about how Microloans work and made a modest investment and have been really happy with how it is going and working for me over the last few years as a charity where my contributions are recycled as entrepreneurs I support in developing countries make their loan repayments and Kiva makes it so easy for me to relend
LATEST KIVA UPDATE
Womens embroidery collective in Guatemala
Basically Kiva is a US based investment company that lends microloans to entrepreneurs in developing countries for all sorts of purposes both business and personal . Kiva is the public face of an international lending concern which works with its field partners on the ground in developing nations who offer specialist assistance and keep track of and monitor the progress of its entrepreneurs
For example some field partners will work with farmers and entrepreneurs in remote rural villages to provide specialized business training other field partners will specialize in working in fields connected with the education and empowerment of women ,others in the medical field etc
What I love about Microloan lending that firstly a small amount of money by our standards goes a very long way in the economies of under developed countries .A relatively small amount of money in our currency can be the equivelant of perhaps a weeks wage or even a months wage and so make a real difference in enabling an entrepreneur in a developing country to upgrade their financial circumstances
Also the repayment rate of Microloans through Kiva is extremely high and the chances of actually losing any money for the investor is extremely low, In my own portfolio of over 20 entrepreneurs I have supported only a handful have defaulted and Kiva has covered those loans so I did not lose out financially I am thinking possibly Kiva invests a portion of its funds in high yield investments so that a certain amount of default from participants can be covered
I love the diversity of opportunity offered to support entrepreneurs from a variety of different countries and occupations One of my favorites has been a women’s community collective in the Andes creating beautiful garments and fabrics using their traditional embroidery designs I have supported a business woman in Lebanon who needed to fund her dental plan ,a seamstress in Kenya sewing wedding dresses, farmers in Cambodia and Equador needing to purchase more cows, fresh water sustainability projects in various countries, a community music school in the US that was hit hard during Covid , 2 small rural schools in Pakistan etc etc
I started out investing primarily in women entrepreneurs but suddenly recognised how tough it can be for blokes in developing countries to provide for their families so have expanded my portfolio now to also include men
AND….. I am just a small Kiva player compared with some of the other contributors .When you contribute to a particular loan you also get to be able to check out your fellow colenders portfolios and I have been absolutely amazed and blown away by the generosity of some of the longer term Kiva lenders some of whom have 1000s and 1000s of entrepreneurs who they have helped over the years in their portfolios .It is truely humbling and awe inspiring to see what generous people there are in the world
Tasleem is an educator running a low cost private school for a marginalized community in Pakistan
Kiva assigns an account page to each of its investors which is really easy to use which enables you to keep track of each of the entrepreneurs you have invested in and their repayment progress .
Once the loan replayments which are affordable increments for the entrepreneurs are lodged in your acccount you have a choice of either cashing them out or recirculating them to assist another entrepreneur .Kiva makes it super easy with a straightforwards step by step process to relend You are directed to the menu to select a new entrepreneur you would like to assist and with a few easy steps the money you have accumulated in your Kiva account is reassigned
The great thing too with relending your money is that each time you have a choice to add small incremental payments so that your total investment is boosted and the funds you actually have in play as an investor are boosted ..and the beauty of it is if at any stage you do need to recoup your investment as the repayments come in you can cash them out
I am really only a very small player in the KIVA > When I check out the portfolios of some of my co- lenders I am truely amazed and awed at peoples generosity .Some investors have literally thousands of loans in play to hundreds of entrepreneurs it is gratifying to see such generosity of spirit and I hope to continue to contribute to Kiva and go on expanding my portfolio for a long time to come It feels great to give and great to be surrounded by and working in cooperation with so many generous souls in a truely viable win win ethical financial programme that is making a positive difference where it is needed .
I created Sunflower in 2017 and although I am still whole heartedly committed to the idea of supporting women as they embrace their personal healing journies and transition into more empowered authentic empowered and confident and creative versions of themselves I found as my own energies were more and more focused on my publishing enterprises that it became easier for me to support women entrepreneurs in developing countries all over the world through KIVA as a natural extension of my desire to seeing women in all walks of life survive and thrive and prosper .
here below is an account of some of Sunflowers previous gifts and pledges
Sunflower Enterprises as a charitable enterprise was formed last year 2017 with its goal and mission to enhance the quality of life and support for women from all walks of life and in constrained financial circumstances on their journey of natural and holistic healing and to offer gifts of practical support to promote nuturance self care inspiration and empowerment for women regardless of financial circumstance.
Recognizing that holistic health treatments and personal growth and self care products and services are often quite expensive and although much needed and greatly appreciated are often out of reach to women on pensions and in low income households
Since its humble beginnings in Nov 2017 so far Sunflower Enterprise has donated gifts of quality holistic massage vouchers inspirational personal growth and self care products and other gifts to Womens health centres and activity groups in the Northern Rivers district of NSW and a Womans transitional Housing Centre In Melbourne and numerous individual gifts to individual women both those in need of support and encouragement and women blazing a trail with their own dedication and commitment to truly honouring and supporting womans journeys of healing and empowerment regardless of economic circumstance
The gifts were so well appreciated and gratefully received by the recipients (see testimonials below ) that Sunflower Enterprises vows to continue with its charitable undertakings to similarly assist many more women .
We were blown away by your generous gifts We have given them to staff members so they can use them for groups They look amazing Thankyou so much for thinking of us and the women who come to our centre We really appreciate that.
Counsellor Lismore Womens Health Centre
Wow !!!I am just floating after my beautiful massage with G(massage therapist) She did such a good job and is such a lovely person too .All the ladies in our group have been delighted with their treatments .Thankyou so much from all of us for your wonderful gifts They are greatly appreciated
Mary Member Northern Rivers Craft Class
Firstly thankyou always for your contribution to our program Always appreciated .Thankyou again for your kindness
Team Leader Hanover Housing Support Service, Melbourne
We had 2 lovely ladies who were the recipients of your sponsorship to craft workshops at Knit Fest We chose one lady from our Knit fest volunteers and the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre chose the other. Both ladies are volunteers .They are both knitters and crocheters and they were both very grateful and touched by your generosity. I’m still touched by what a lovely thing you have done . Thankyou
Debs Swain Coordinator Knit Fest
How Sunflower got its name !!
Also please browse the drop down menu to persuse the story which tell of how Sunflower got its name just one of the the magical synchronicites which have occurred along the way to progress the Sunflower cause ……..
As well as continuing to make gifts through Sunflower I wanted to share information with readers about other charities that have inspired me this year