On June 18, we had a wonderful speaker during our Zoom meeting at 12:00 noon. Thomas Arminio, son of Kathy & David Arminio, spoke to us about a project he has been involved with since college after joining the Peace Corps called One Acre Fund
 
One Acre Fund is an NGO (non-governmental organization) whose mission it is to supply smallholder farmers with the financing and training they need to grow their way out of hunger and poverty. Instead of giving handouts, One Acre Fund invests in farmers to generate a gain in farm income. 
 
Thomas works with the farmers in Tanzania and Rwanda and helps them with 4 primary functions: Distribution, Training, Market Facilitation and Repayment. He manages the field staff and ultimately trains them to become managers of their own local villages. Through Thomas' efforts and the work of One Acre Fund, the farmers are learning to become better farmers and business people. Thomas' talk was enlightening and so interesting as was Kathy and David's experience visiting with Thomas in Africa, specifically Zanzibar. 
 
To thank Thomas for sharing his world with us, we thought we would make a donation to African farmers through the Kiva Loan Program which we are involved in at Union Rotary. Also, Thomas was familiar with this program and I believe he said some of his farmers benefit form these loans as well.
 
For those who are not familiar, Kiva Loan Program, like One Acre Fund, is similar to Go Fund Me except Kiva loans (and One Acre Fund loans) are expected to be paid back. 
 
We have decided to make 7 loans to farmers in Rwanda, Nigeria and Kenya (Tanzania was not an option) in Thomas' honor. We chose 3 women, 2 men and 2 agriculture groups to support. Genie will follow these loans and report back to us on the status of our farmers and their repayments. To learn a little more about the specifics of the loans...check out our Kiva Loan Page https://www.kiva.org/lender/unionrotary