“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
― John Bunyan
[ Day 30 of 2000 ]
If you look at the ancient Indian mythology of Mahabharata, there is a divine vessel with a never ending supply of food called Akshaya Patra. I have known of the equivalent in modern times for a while now. Many of you probably already know of it, I am talking about kiva.org.
The concept is easy to understand. You don’t give the money to the needy, you only lend it. They pay it back at their convenience. Once you have it back, you can lend it to someone else. I love the concept – There are a lot of people out there who just need a boost right now. They don’t need your money – all they need is a loan.
To honor the one month of blogging, I started a new account at kiva.org and sent Mariatu in Sierra Leone some money. When she pays it back, I will find someone else who needs it. I have done this before, and I have got the money back. The website says that 97% of the loans are paid back.
Mariatu’s story (from kiva.org)
Meet 38 year-old Mariatu from Aberdeen branch. She is married, with five children between the ages of 9 and 21 years old.
Mariatu sells “cookery” beside a busy road. “Cookery” is a modest term for the wealth of spicy stews that are cooked by local people and served with rice. The building blocks of such stews are palm oil, cassava leaf, rice, green chilis, seasoning (like maggi or red pepper) and chicken or fish. She has been in this business for the past four years now and works nine hours per day and six days a week. Her main challenge is slow sales sometimes. Her other source of income is from her husband.
Mariatu requested this loan from Brac to purchase more rice, pepper, maggi, onions, palm oil, ground nuts, tomatoes, etc. She says that the extra income from this loan will help her to take care of her family. In the future she wants her business to expand into a big restaurant. She says thanks to Brac and Kiva community for their support.
To be honest, the reason I picked charity for honoring my blog was because that was on the top of my mind, thanks to Rockstar Finance. They sent me (among others) an email saying they would be paying 20 bloggers $100 each to “turn it into some joy and happiness for someone who really needs it”. I responded, but wasn’t quick enough. Since I didn’t get that $100, I decided that I could use some of my money to make a change. Right now, I can afford to part with $25, and it would be helpful for Mariatu.
If you look at Rockstar Finance Community Fund page, you can see that they have been doing this for a while. Even though they didn’t exactly pay for this, they can take the credit – I wouldn’t have thought of it if I hadn’t got that email just a couple of days back.
If you are interested in trying out kiva, I would be grateful if you could use my referral link. I will not get any benefits from this except for the satisfaction of knowing that I made a change to someone’s life. If you already have an account, can you please consider making another loan this holiday season?
Please leave comments below to tell me who you helped!