Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Reflection: Congratulations To Kiva For Ten Years Of Changing Lives

Recently I was contacted by a good friend, world changer, and former Nuru staff member and asked if I would be willing to help her get the word out about Kiva's latest video and their celebration of 10 years and a deep global impact from their efforts. For me, the response was all to easy. In a country that has more than 1.5 million nonprofits in existence, I believe it is critical to share the stories of those who are doing great work. Kiva is one of those organizations.

But it isn't just me saying so. Kiva has been fortunate enough in its early years to get a vote of confidence from former President Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey among others. And, back in 2009, Jamie received a Kiva loan gift card from my best friend in the whole world, Willie. Jamie has used the gift multiple times because every time the borrower repays their loan, she has been able to extend a new loan to a new borrower. I know Jamie has really enjoyed reading stories of how the loans would be used, and it has helped us both to grow in our understanding of what it is like to be an entrepreneur in different parts of the world.

And thanks to Willie's example, we have also bought Kiva loan gift cards for others who are lending and re-lending funds to people looking for a hand-up instead of a hand-out. Kiva finds entrepreneurs and connects them to lenders from around the globe who can help these entrepreneurs launch their dreams. Farmers are among those individuals Jamie has lent funds to--for folks familiar with Nuru, you know that having funds available to acquire high quality seed and fertilizer is a huge obstacle for farmers living in extreme poverty. But Kiva is not just helping farmers, they are helping people in a variety of contexts to begin turning a dream into a reality. Jamie has also helped invest in schools fees for a family in Lebanon, a businesswoman in Sierra Leone, and even invested in a medical clinic in Kenya.

If you have never set up a loan through Kiva, I highly recommend it. Regardless of other ways you may be investing your money to help others, extending a loan via Kiva is a great way to gain perspective with regard to the challenges of others around the word. Not only that, but it provides a great reminder that together, lasting change is possible!

I hope you will join me, Jamie, Willie, and others in congratulating Kiva for ten years of amazingness. You can share this blog, share the video above, or even Tweet with the hashtag #BeTheSpark to encourage and congratulate them.

Together, let's keep doing our part to make the world a better place, and take time to celebrate successes along the way! Congratulations Kiva! You inspire us, and remind us of the good work being done in our world!

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