Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Christmas Gift to you - KIVA

Earlier this year I came across KIVA.ORG, and thought it was such an easy way for me to try and make a difference in someone else's life that was less fortunate. Basically KIVA allows you to lend a person of your choosing $25 to help fund a loan which they can use to grow their business, or pay for equipment, or use for personal expenses etc. You are given the estimated time that it will take for them to repay the loan and how often they will make the re-payments. You are then sent updates on how the loan is progressing and when you have received payments, and then when the loan is fully re-paid you have the option to either re-invest your money in another loan or withdraw your money. Here is a video from KIVA which explains it in a bit more detail.

How Kiva Works from Kiva on Vimeo.

How cool is that? The thing that I love about KIVA is that the profile of the loan recipients are so thorough and all have photos and personal details, so I can choose someone who may have similarities to me like have 4 children, or be my age or have similar hobbies. To think that my little $25 is having an impact on someone on the other side of the world is really wonderful and somewhat empowering.

These are my two current KIVA loans:

Souhad Samer is a 32 year old Tailor from Iraq and she has 3 children. Myself and 66 other lenders have funded her to purchase a generator and other inventory so she can continue to build her tailoring business where she makes and repairs women's clothing.

Janviere is a 36 year old General Store Owner from Rwanda. She has 4 children aged between 4 and 12 years. She has owned her shop for 1 year and sells Cassava Flour, Sugar and Salt etc and she is open every day from 7am till 6pm. Myself and 20 lenders have funded her to purchase more of her goods for re-saleand she intends to re-invest in her business and save for her family's future.

I am also going to make another loan this Christmas, to spread the love just a little bit further, and because I know how great it feels to do this, I am giving you, one of my lovely readers a KIVA GIFT CARD so that you too can bring some joy to someone less fortunate.

If you would like to be in the running to win this gift card, (and no this is not a sponsored post, I am buying the gift card out of my own money), simply leave a comment below, telling me what brings you joy at this time of the year. So it is not hard, I can think of a million things that brings a smile to my face at this time of the year, so really there is no excuse to not enter.  Also, I would love it if you were a follower of my blog as I would love you to come back another time and see what I am up to. And if you are lucky enough to be the winner I would love to know who you decide to give your loan to.

Competition is open to anyone in the world, and I will be drawing the winner on Christmas Eve at 9pm, (or sometime around then!)

Don't forget you can always just go and make your own loan too, there are currently 6138 loans that need to be funded, follow this link which is an invitation from me to make a loan :)

Merry Christmas and Good Luck!


  1. I love KIVA and have made my first loan this year. Happy Christmas!

  2. Hearing inspiring stories about the little things that make a big difference is what makes me smile at Christmas (and all the time!) Thank you for sharing the stories of so many beautiful people all over the world :-)

  3. Oh i love this concept, it's beautiful & you are a wonderful person Megan. What a wonderful way to put meaning into so many lives, these small businesses & the communities they serve. Love Posie

  4. Such a wonderful thing to do - especially at Christmas time. I'm finding it a bit obscene to spending so much on my family who have pretty much everything, when so many have so little. A bit of generosity goes such a long way for these people.

  5. Wow, what a great thing KIVA is!
    What brings me joy at this time of year.... Giving to others - whether it's Christmas presents to my family, or donations to the Salvos, or gifts at a department store 'Wishing Tree'.... I reckon it really is more blessed to give than to receive! I love it.
    (Am following your blog also) ♥

  6. As you get older you realise that it really is giving that brings the joy and not the receiving. KIVA is such a lovely idea which can make such a difference in someone's life. I'd be happy to give you an update on who the loan goes to. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  7. Love your blog and products, I have just purchased my second lunch bag.

    What brings me joy at this time of year is the anticipation of experiencing and sharing the wonder of Christmas with our family's newest baby, Violet.

    KIVA sounds brilliant, a hand up rather than a hand out is always better.

    Merry Christmas!