This is Aba. Aba lives in Ghana (in a town called Abura), and she runs a tiny little roadside (!) grocery and has been doing so for the last five years. She's married to a carpenter and has three children.
A few months ago Aba went to a Kiva partner and asked for help. She has asked for a small loan to help grow her business a little. Because if she gets a loan, she'd be able to afford more produce, and more produce means more business, which means a better income for her young family.
And today, instead of digging a few gold coins out of my purse and depositing it in a bucket for a faceless cause as I rush through the tube station, I used my credit card to loan Aba, a grocer in Ghana $25 so she could expand her business. I was one of 10 people who were able to provide Aba a mico-loan that she wasn’t able to get from the bank, so she could expand her business, earn more, and provide for her family.
I like that I can do that. And that I can do it in a sustainable manner - it's not a hand out, but a hand up. Over the next give months Aba will repay the loan, and she'll work hard to do it. But because it's from individuals like me there isn't a backlash of high interest rates. Micro-loans. It's a good idea, right?
There are a phenomenal number of people whose lives could be made a little more self-sufficient, a little brighter by not a donation, but a LOAN. The money you lend is returned to you, and you can either donate to the Kiva organisation, help someone else, or withdraw it.
If you’re interested in helping out someone yourself, please check out Kiva. It's a simple, painless process, and the cause is a good one.