Kiva, Paying It Forward
In life there are many battles to overcome. We strive to find the time to be with our families and our jobs, or dedicating ourselves to running our business with concerns such as marketing, production, sales, collections and much more.
It can overwhelm, and often we feel exhausted and lost, wondering if we’ll ever make it ahead.
That is the perfect time to pay it forward. Because no matter how much we struggle, there is always someone who is struggling that much harder under more drastic conditions.
Laurel’s Originals donates 5% of all sales to the Kiva organization that for 10 years has worked with micro financial institutions all over the world to give small loans to people working to create their own businesses.
Laurel loves to peruse the stories every month to select a person to make a loan from funds generated not only by sales but also funneling repayments of loans. The reimbursed funds from the borrowers go into her Kiva account and can then be relent. So those who repay their loans are in a sense, helping other’s receive new loans.
The Women of Laurels Originals
Laurel focuses on loans for women partly because it was the women of Costa Rica who
helped found Laurels Originals. She was able to see firsthand the conditions of women working in rural areas and she set them up in their homes to do piece work for her hand painted dresses.
In this way the young women of the community were able to work and take care of their families. It was not always easy to convince the husbands who were very entrenched in their culture to allow their wives to work. When the women had the opportunity to work in their homes while taking care of kids, meals and laundry, it was accepted.
Laurel even pestered some of the husbands to build a special work place for their wives, asking them weren’t they pleased their wives could bring more income into the household!
The Stories of Kiva
Many stories reach into Laurel’s heart. When building a business that does well, it takes a loan to move up to the next level. A sewing machine creates a small dress making business that expands to the point of needing new machines, the loan providing the next step. When women have proven themselves hard working and inventive, often repaying many loans to expand and grow then these are excellent opportunities to pay it forward.
Sometimes a woman does well in her small business but needs cement to replace a dirt floor or pay for school fees. These are important concerns that help everyone in the family and eventually the entire community.
Being grateful alleviates the stress of becoming lost in our own problems. Kiva offers a peek into other people’s lives around the world, to cheer them on, to lend a hand up, not a hand out.
We can show gratitude for own lives as we strive to expand with our own hard work.
To understand better how Kiva works please look at their About page.
I hope you join us!