If you’ve ever traveled to a third world country and fell in love with its people, you know that feeling of guilt that inevitably arises when you realize just how difficult life can be for those less privileged than you.
Most travelers caught up in this epiphany often wonder what they can do to help, how can they give something back to the wonderful locals who made their trip so memorable? Unfortunately, so many of us return from our travels with good intentions, but poor follow-through.
If this happens to be you, than today is your lucky day; Gadling is here to help and it’s not going to cost you a thing.
Just in time for the Holidays, Gadling is teaming up with Kiva, a unique non-profit that provides micro loans to “help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence.”
The concept is simple. Local entrepreneurs contact Kiva’s field partners around the globe requesting small loans to help out their businesses–which are often not much more than a single cow or perhaps a roadside stand selling melons. The field partners determine risk, and if acceptable, will then post a description of the loan on the Kiva website. In addition, the field partners will also post information about the borrower, thus adding a human face to the transaction.
Anyone interested in providing a micro loan can then sign on to the Kiva website and lend money ($25 minimum) to the entrepreneur(s) of their choice.
So this is where you come in. Gadling is looking for your guidance to help direct our loan to a deserving individual whose business we will then spotlight over the next 8-12 months while the loan is being repaid.
We’ve included six choices below (with descriptions provided by Kiva) but feel free to visit the website and expand the selection. Loans surprisingly move quickly on this popular site–Fatima Huseynova featured in the photo above just received money for her cow last week–so let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below as quickly as possible and we’ll announce our choice next week.
Alisher Musoev has been in the bakery business for 7 years. So that he could provide for his family, he started working as a trainee in one of the local bakeries at the age of 16. For one work shift that usually lasted 17 hours he was only paid 6 to 7 loafs of bread, which was not enough for his family. He started looking for a space so he could open his own business. Once he found one, he started his own bakery. In the beginning, he was only baking for special orders for weddings because he was short of cash. After a period of time, when he accumulated more funds, he started producing bread for the sales on the market. Currently, his father and two hired employees, who are paid 450 somoni, are helping him in the business. Alisher is asking for additional funding so that he could increase his production.
Mrs. Sout Sro Em, age 25, is a traditional musician, earning around $5 each day. Her husband works driving a trailer attached to a motor-bike to transport passengers, making about $4 per day. They have one child who is too young to attend school. She would like to request a loan of $1000 in order seek an additional income source by purchasing pigs to breed and sell. She also plans to fix her husband’s broken trailer so he can better operate his business.
Fatima is a 47 year old mother of four children. Fatima is a very serious and committed microentrepreneur. She lives in South Lebanon, in the region of Saida. Fatima works with her husband cooking falafel, chickpeas and beans. She needs a loan of $1200 to buy a new chickpea processor and provisions for the business. This is the sixth time Fatima is asking for a loan from Al Majmoua.
Farming and the production of fruits are the main activity of most of the settlers of the Peruvian forest. Don Rolando is one of these men, who learned from his parents the skills and secrets of this beautiful activity. This education has now allowed him to be a man with multiple skills for agriculture and most of all it has allowed him to support his dear family in these days of multiple economic problems. He has a partner and his desire is to get married and build a small house and condition it to open a small grocery store to help with the expenses of the house. He is asking for a loan that will allow Rolando to have a bigger income this year and achieve all these goals.
I am Amna Bibi. I am a mother of six: four boys and two girls. Currently, only the elder two attend school while the others are too small. My husband works for skimpy pay and I own a few cows and sell their milk. Last year, I took a loan for my business, which resulted in increased profits, and I was able to save $250. Now I wish to further expand my business and require a loan of $350 for this purpose.
Djeyhun (his sister is pictured) has his own business. He was born in 1984 and lives in the Salyan region in the village of Yenikand. This man is single. He has been in this business for 8 years. Now he needs a loan of $1,200 to buy foodstuffs for improving his business.