I have been interested in microcredit since 1998. I initiated and support some 10 Matching Grant projects in the Philippines and Bolivia. I attended the microcredit conference of May 2011 in Calgary where Matt Flanagan, one of those wise young whippersnappers and co-founder of Kiva, told us about Kiva


My first loan to Tuya in Mongolia was paid back in 12 months, 2 months ahead of schedule, and I started to loan on a regular base. Once I got to know the Kiva website I did realize that indeed I did only loan, not give.  I became fascinated with the exposure to the many groups. I felt empowered to be able to loan to groups of people all over the world!  Soon I had reached the amount in my first Matching Grant project with NWFT in the Philippines, this without any paperwork and at a cost of $350 donations.  Loanees in microcredit do pay back their loans, at a rate of 99+%.  This is really: “Helping people helping themselves!”   Image

I realize that working with Kiva is an excellent way to become aware of the reality in the world around us. For a Rotarian who is interested in that world this is a satisfactory experience.  For every Rotarian this is the chance to become involved: everybody likes to help others without spending money. By 28 October 2013 186 Rotarians from 28 clubs funded 8985 loans for a total $348, 215. Just imagine if we could reach 1.2 million Rotarians and convince a percentage of them to join us.  We would reach a level of millions and millions of dollars worth of sponsored projects.


It will be easy to follow such success story if all Kiva-Rotarians become member of a Kiva RAGM team. The world would have another example of what Rotary can do.


(Editor's note - for more information about Kiva follow the link http://www.kiva.org/)