Shhh. Don’t tell my son, Matt, but I just ordered a Kiva card for him for Christmas.
Sure, he’ll get a favorite DVD, and some other stuff he’s been wanting. But it’s all just, you know, stuff.
With a Kiva card he can learn about other people in other parts of the world (or right here in the U.S.) and he can help them, in a small way, achieve their dreams by making a micro loan with his $50 card. Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.
I learned about this organization through Craig Newmark of craigslist. He has worked with Kiva and recommends them highly, and has made loans himself.
Kiva was born of the following beliefs:
- People are by nature generous, and will help others if given the opportunity to do so in a transparent, accountable way.
- The poor are highly motivated and can be very successful when given an opportunity.
- By connecting people we can create relationships beyond financial transactions, and build a global community expressing support and encouragement of one another.
- Dignity: Kiva encourages partnership relationships as opposed to benefactor relationships. Partnership relationships are characterized by mutual dignity and respect.
- Accountability: Loans encourage more accountability than donations where repayment is not expected.
- Transparency: The Kiva website is an open platform where communication can flow freely around the world.
So far, Kiva has facilitated over $100 million in loans.
Looking for a great gift idea for a tween or teen? Consider Kiva.