Christine and I have been friends since college. When I saw the Kiva logo on her blog, I decided to ask her a few questions.

Jeff: Christine, thanks for taking the time to sit down (via email) with Adventist Activism to talk about Kiva. Tell us about their work and your involvement with it.

kivaChristine: Kiva is a grassroots organization serving the working poor by connecting people with money to lend directly to the individual(s) they’ll fund. Describing themselves as “the world’s first person-to-person, micro-lending website,” Kiva’s loans enable entrepreneurs to start or grow a business.

I’m a five-time lender, which sounds like a lot. It really isn’t. I started by investing $100 in Kiva last year. As the money is repaid, I reinvest in another applicant. When I get a big paycheck, I invest another $25 or $50, whatever I can.

As a lender, I can review applicants by category such as food or transportation, by gender, by region and more. Ever since I’ve been a self-sufficient, bill-paying adult, I’ve looked for ways to help keep other people fed. The Kiva loans that I’ve helped fund are a way to help people feed themselves.

Jeff: What motivated you to move from just being impressed with Kiva to actually putting your money on the table?

Christine: Because I’m an entrepreneur myself, I know how difficult it can be to raise funds in a way that feels respectable — like not a parental loan, okay? Nothing shady. Being able to put the exact amount of money I’m lending directly into the hands of an individual who’s building a business, without having it skimmed first for overhead and marketing expenses, really appealed to me. I don’t have a lot of extra money and I’d much rather spend it on selfish things — books and pastries, mostly. I like to know that 100% of the money I lend goes where I send it, and the $25 minimum loan amount is really doable for me.

Jeff: If our readers want to get involved, what is the process?

Christine: Visit and hit the “Lend” tab. Read through the requests, and I think you’ll really connect with the people. It’s hard to say no to someone who only needs a small loan to buy a few chickens to raise to sell eggs or a person who needs a moped in order to collect recycling. You can make donations by credit card online and then keep track of your investment with emails from Kiva. When your loan is repaid, you can withdraw the credit back to your card or you can choose another applicant and reinvest. Once I saw how the site worked and the loans worked, I kept on investing. I feel my money is being used to give another person a boost, which is all I can ask for, really. Go take a look over your next lunch break.

Jeff: Thanks a lot for sharing with us. I hope we’ll hear more from you in the future here at Adventist Activism.


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3 Responses to Kiva

  1. Nils Eklof says:

    Thank you for bringing up microfinance and entrepreneurship. I got to know Kiva about a year ago and have been investing in different projects since then. I fully agree with Christine and thinks microloans can change lives. Last summer I had the opportunity to speak with Chuck Sandefur , the ADRA director visiting Sweden, about their connection with Kiva. As by that date they had some internal discussions how to bring ADRA closer to the KIva lendingsystem, or how to make their own website. Since then I have no futher information about actions taken by ADRA, but my hope – and prayer – is that they will be one of the organisations that distributes the Kiva-loans to the local lenders. That would bring a lot of money directly into people that is connected with the ADRA network. Anyone who have more information about ADRA´s plan?

  2. Jeff Boyd says:

    I haven’t heard about ADRA’s possible involvement with Kiva. That would be interesting. Let us know if you find out more details.

    Also, I came across this article about Kiva today: .

  3. Pingback: Community Building for Idiots « Adventist Activism

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