"Changing the World One Loan at a Time"
"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance." (Bruce Barton, co-founder of BBDO ad agency)
While reviewing my credit card bill online earlier this evening, I was simultaneously calculating - and recalculating - how much of my budget I have left to spend, glancing at the TV any time Bob Costas mentioned one of my Olympics key words (Phelps! Finals! World Record(s)!), and half-heartedly listening to online news videos, a reporter's voice in this multi-media world caught my full attention - "eight mouths to feed."
It was from my news video, specifically a Today show segment on an organization that is taking microfinancing to the web and allowing individuals to become lenders to struggling entrepreneurs in impoverished communities.
As I was praising myself for the low groceries total on my bill (I finally faced my fears of the kitchen to cook meals at home instead of eating out, and had followed mom's uber-wise advise of active coupon clipping), the segment abruptly lifted my budgeting smog. It reminded me of how far just a few dollars can go for those struggling worldwide to support themselves and their families.
The segment focused on the works of Kiva (www.kiva.com), "the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website." The group works with microfinance institutions to find entrepreneurs. The plights of these entrepreneurs are posted online, and for as little as $25 (hmmm...about how much I saved on my groceries last week), individuals can lend to those who have goals of self-sustenance but cannot do it without the help of the global community. The site profiles each entrepreneur and identifies how the loan will be used. I was impressed by these ordinary people who work hard daily to rise above their volatile economic situation.
After hearing so much about microfinance recently, I'm excited to learn of this exquisite opportunity and am already thinking of ways to conquer my bills so that I can assist. Easy dinner recipes, anyone?