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

My latest Kiva Loan
Solar Power initiative  to provide  solar power to  2250 homes in rural Myanmar
I am excited about this one becuase I am joining forces with 868 microloan lenders to fund a $50,000 loan to ‘TECHNO HILL’ a solar power grid installation initiative which plans to provide solar power to 2,250 homes in rural Myanmar
To find out more about Kivas exciting microloan opportunites where you can be part of supporting entrepreneurs and provisioning of sustainable services like clean water /solar power etc in developing countries all over the world go to
Techno-Hill’s story
Problem
On the 800+ remote islands of Tanintharyi state in Southern Myanmar, over 80,000 households still lack access to electricity from the national grid and have to rely on polluting diesel generators. Since the military coup in February 2021, fuel prices have escalated (up by ~20%) and the need for renewable energy is even stronger.
Solution
Techno-Hill is a pioneering solar micro-grid developer in Myanmar. Since 2017, the company has implemented 13 micro-grid projects and provided 24/7 clean energy to over 6,600 households. The electricity provided is 3x cheaper than diesel powered options, making Techno-Hill’s solution particularly vital during this crisis.
Cheaper electricity allows kids to study at night, fishermen to run freezers to better conserve fish, and households to cook without burning wood. Additionally, in each village where it operates, Techno-Hill provides free-of-charge electricity for streetlights, schools, and hospitals that can then operate during night time.
Loan Use & Impact
Techno-Hill is founded and lead by a woman entrepreneur and the company is looking for a $50,000 loan to complete 2 micro-grid projects in rural Myanmar. These 60kW systems will energize 2,250 people and avoid over 200 tons of CO2 per year. Most importantly, this relief funding will help the company to deliver crucial energy access to their beneficiaries during these dramatic times.
This loan is special because:
It promotes access to clean energy products.
Mark McDonagh
Kiva staff

Previous Loan

 

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 .       

 

sunflower

Sunflower Update…….. 

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.

business card

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 .

TESTIMONIALS

(1)

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.

Christina H
Counsellor Lismore Womens Health Centre

(2)

Hi Wendy
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

(3)

Hi Wendy
Firstly thankyou always for your contribution to our program Always appreciated .Thankyou again for your kindness

Di M
Team Leader Hanover Housing Support Service, Melbourne

(4)
Thank you Wendy for the beauty vouchers, I have received them ok and they will be gladly used by ladies in need. Thankyou you once again .
Theresa Mitchell
Founding/Director
Agape Outreach Inc.

(5)

Hi Wendy,

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