I've been watching Kiva for a while now. My pal Kareem first told me about it last year and I checked into it and then promptly forgot about it. Well, I didn't really forget about it. I started thinking about it in a new way.
You see, I love science - scientific research - scientific breakthroughs. So Kiva got me started thinking about a way for scientists to fund their research with private microinvestments - similar to what Kiva is doing. Now, this mental masturbation distracted me from Kiva itself, and I started mapping out what kind of site it would take to set up a Kiva structure for scientific research. Here's a story about a researching who went and found independent research monies (thanks S for the link). And then there is Moller, who has been working on his dream for a long time. I think this is a great idea, and I definately want to make it happen. So if you want to collaborate with me (hi M!) then let's talk.
But back to Kiva. Kareem recently reminded me about the site again and this time, instead of getting sidetracked in my own ideas, I executed. For less than the price of dinner, I could make someone's dream come true, I could help the world and Kiva made it possible for me to do it. I started looking through the borrowers. I wanted to pick one where my amount would be the final amount and then the loan funded. I found Olga, who is a furniture maker. My $25 was the final amount to fund her $1000 loan.
As I was looking through borrowers, another story caught my eye. Maria lives in Mexico and runs a grocery store. She is 1 year younger than me and has 8 children! Wow. What a totally different life. I contributed $25 to her loan (which is about to be funded).
To realize that $50 can make a difference in Olga and Maria's lives make me ... grateful for being able to help. Make me realize that I really am in a privileged position and I must do everything I can to raise the pyramid from the bottom - not scramble to the top.
You too can make a different. With a tiny amount of money. $25 is so little. Please join me and help raise the pyramid from the bottom. Because in doing so, you raise yourself as well.