Ever since I went to Cameroon and saw first hand what poverty looks and smell like I have thought about how I could help. The longer I stayed there the more obvious it was that aid that comes from the USA was simply being sucked up by those in power, corruption is a great evil. We could pour all the money in the world into Cameroon and the next day it would look the same.
The men who went with me on one of the trips all contributed to the freeing of a man who was essentially in slavery and then giving him a small tool kit that allowed him to make a living as a handyman. The last I heard he was doing well, but what I will never forget is the smile on his face when he realized he was free and had the means to provide for himself through honest labor. But once I got back home in the States the question arose, how can I help others like him when I don’t have a way to know who they are?
Allow me to introduce to you a wonderful site that is designed to help those who actually need the help and yet do it in a way that protects from those who steal. It is called Kiva. This organization help distribute microloans to people around the world. The money goes directly into the hands of the person through vetted groups who are on the ground in those countries. The money is then used to upgrade something in their business, buy more livestock, start up a small business and such. These are people who simply have no ability to gain this money due to poverty, but if they could have a loan then it allows them to actually begin to rise up out of great poverty.
Minimum cost to you is 25.00, in other words, the cost of pizza for a couple of people. They pay it back and as they do you can reinvest in another person, or get the money back for yourself. I just keep reinvesting. Currently I have a man in Lebanon who has a small auto repair business, a man in Tajikistan in animal sales (the man pictured), and a seller of house wares in Bolivia. All of them are paying me back and I have never had a loan default.
When Paul was questioned by the Apostles about the gospel he was preaching he was then sent back out to continue to preach that gospel, but they also said one other thing to him, “They only asked us to remember the poor– the very thing I also was eager to do.” (Galatians 2:10) Kiva is a simple way to remember them.