My birthday was last week. I decided to pay a gift forward, and I donated it to Kiva. Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.

I donated to the Femmes Commerèantes N°6 Group (pictured above) in Thies, Senegal. Their goal is to fight family poverty. My donation allowed them to reach their goal of purchasing supplies for their retail business.

The group will repay their loan over the next 10 months. Once the loan is repaid, I will receive a credit for the amount I donated. Then, I can lend it to someone else. Of course, there is no 100% guarantee that my investment will be repaid, but Kiva has processed over $28 million in loans, and has a 98.4% repayment rate.

Loans start at $25. I know that our economy is in the tank, and everyone is finding ways to cut back. But, I also know that this $25 gift made a difference, and that’s worth a small sacrifice on my part.

Visit kiva.org and consider lending money to alleviate poverty.

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