This year one of the things we did for MLK Day was make a microloan through Kiva to a woman who sells cereals (beans, grains, etc) in a bazaar in Khachmaz, Azerbaijan.
I found out about Kiva when President Clinton was promoting his book, Giving, on Martha. One of the organizations that he mentioned was Kiva – they take money that’s loaned to give business owners in impoverished communities the capital to expand/improve. The loan we made to Tamilla will be paid back over the course of 14 months – and she has already successfully repaid two prior loans.
Right now, there are so many people interested in doing this that the organization has had to lower the amount each person can loan to $25 so more people can participate.
When Shug gets older, maybe we can make Kiva part of our tradition and he can take part in deciding who we help. I love holidays, and of course we want him to celebrate and take part in all kinds of different special days.
Tonight starts Tu B’Shevat! Another holiday….