Aug. 24th, 2008

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About a year ago, I became a microlender to people in developing countries through an organization called Kiva. I was a little bit hesitant that it would turn out to be a scam or that the organization would fall apart, but I've been very, very happy with it so far. Since I joined up and started lending money, Bill Clinton included information about the organization in his book, Giving and various newspapers, magazines and T.V. shows have carried stories about it.

To date, I've started 17 loans:
9 have been paid back in full
5 are being actively paid back - money is just re-invested into new loans
2 have the money raised but it hasn't been distributed to the entrepreneur
1 is still fundraising
0 loans have defaulted

I'm absolutely loving it. Over the year, I've received about three updates from various people to whom I've lent money; this is always such a gift. I really enjoy the process of picking a new person or a new group of people when I've got got money to re-invest (I often choose Cambodia as the poverty there struck a chord in me when I visited the country in 2003). It boggles me a little that it can be this easy to make such a huge impact for someone else.

Would I recommend it to others? In a heartbeat.

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caribou_gen

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