Kiva & Saving Hearts
Many years ago a friend turned me onto Kiva. The Kiva.org manages micro lending across the globe as a way to help small entrepreneurs get a start or expand their businesses.
For me, it was a window into the world of women making a difference in their communities and in the lives of their families. I decided then and there to contribute by donating 5% of sales from Laurels Originals to the Kiva Organization.
It’s not something I advertise, (except now). You don’t see it on my website except for a blog I wrote many years ago. But I do share it with the people who purchase from me. After I deliver their rug they receive an email about Kiva and how their purchase has helped someone and they receive the link to the person I donated to.
How do I choose?
I tend to lend to other women in business. First I look for women who are second or third time borrowers. These are women who are responsible and pay their loans back.
Kiva keeps your repaid loans in your account and you can lend it over and over again. You can also withdraw your money but I like to think of the women paying back their loans to relend. It’s as if they are lending to other women by being responsible.
I also like to see women who need that extra investment to go to the next level in their business. Someone will need another sewing machine, or more merchandise to enlarge their inventory or literally need to enlarge their storefront.
Many are women in rural areas, often buying extra chickens or feed for pigs.
Where do I choose?
First, I look in my own backyard, Costa Rica. But a few months ago I read a heartbreaking book called Enrique’s Journey about the children who ride the trains through Mexico from Honduras to get to the US where their parents are working. This opened my eyes to the plight of people in Honduras, a very poor country with few opportunities.
And yet there are women opening beauty salons, selling tortillas, or whatever they can to make a living. This gives them the opportunity to stay in Honduras with their children and not leave them to work in the US.
And so I lend to women in Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.
I keep a spreadsheet of my sales to keep track of 5% to lend to Kiva. I love sales! I love income! But I also love to see how much I can lend to people around the world. I have it good. I am so happy here in Costa Rica with perfect weather, an abundant garden, and my art studio steps from my house, my happy healthy pets, and happy healthy children (and grandchild!)
It makes me happy to be able to give someone else that opportunity.
With all that’s happening in the world, feeling good about something is a wonderful thing.
My Kiva account is also happy and healthy as the borrowers are paying back their loans.
I am now devoting 2020 to another organization here in Costa Rica called Saving Hearts. It’s a center for the protection of children rescued from slavery, but that’s another story.
Now there’s something I want to give you! This year I’m giving away 3 more canvas rugs (yes, I already gave one away). This is exclusively for Laurel’s Design email readers.
Sign up for Laurel’s Design email that comes out once a month (sometimes twice)
See you there!