Make Microloans Through Kiva with project tips, book suggestions, and reflections from Big-Hearted Families™

Make Microloans Through Kiva

Support an entrepreneurial antidote to poverty.

Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents, and everyday people like you, to alleviate poverty. The idea is to help a family in a developing country by making a small loan (as little as $25).


Possible recipients

The working poor around the world who don’t have access to traditional banking systems.  Kiva provides them with affordable access to capital, thus helping them improve their lives.

What you’ll need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • At least $25 to donate

Instructions

  • Visit the Kiva website with your children.
  • Watch the video that explains, in easy terms, how the loan program works.
  • Browse the various loan requests and select the one(s) you’d like to fund. You can loan as little as $25 — or the entire amount requested.
  • Make the loan through the Kiva system.
  • Get updates on your borrower’s progress via email or the Kiva site.
  • Decide what to do when you are paid back. As the money becomes available in your account, you can use it to fund another loan, donate it to Kiva or withdraw it.

Reflections

  • What did you like about the particular person we chose to loan money to? Were you intrigued by the type of business they wanted to develop? The country they lived in? Something about their family?
  • Did you notice whether other people lent money to our person, too? Did you notice where the other lenders lived? Why is it good when lots of people work together to help others?
  • If you lived in a poor country, what type of business might you run?
  • What is the difference between giving another person money to help them make a living and loaning them the money to do it?

Resources

  • Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier (Aladdin, 2004). Ages 4 and up. An impoverished family flourishes after receiving a special four-legged gift in this uplifting picture book set in western Uganda.
  • Armando and the Blue Tarp School by Edith Hope Fine and Judith Pinkerton Josephson (Lee & Low Books, 2007). Ages 6 and up. A young boy longs to go to school, but he must help his father sift though trash for items to sell to support the family.

Take it further

  • When your loan is repaid, gather the family to choose another project to fund. Perhaps your children can take turns choosing which loan request to support.
  • With your children, research the region where the recipient of your loan lives.
  • Kiva suggests a number of ways to spread the word about its microfinance program, including sending an email to friends, adding an email footer, distributing flyers, or hosting a banner on your website.

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