I know many of you out there have the same passion. You want to be able to do something. My hubby and I wrestle with this in a big way. What are the ways you can truly change things in suffering third world countries? Education is one. Creating business is another. BUT what can normal people like us do? We aren't rich.
Well HOLD ONTO YOUR SEATS blogger buddies. I am about to tell you how you can start saving the world!!!-
By Muhammad Yunus
-Never fear... I will not make you read it unless you just want to check it out! Russ and I have already done that for you. It is an amazing book. The author won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for this idea. He is AMAZING! Here is a little about his idea.-Winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize
This autobiography of the world-renowned, visionary economist who came up with a simple but revolutionary solution to end world poverty--micro-credit--has become a growing movement. Muhammad Yunus is that rare thing: a bona fide visionary. His dream is the total eradication of poverty from the world. In 1983, against the advice of banking and government officials, Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with minuscule loans. Grameen Bank, based on the belief that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a fortunate few, now provides over 2.5 billion dollars of micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh. Ninety-four percent of Yunus's clients are women, and repayment rates are near 100 percent. Around the world, micro-lending programs inspired by Grameen are blossoming, with more than three hundred programs established in the United States alone.
Now you may be thinking CREDIT??? HUH? I have credit cards and I don't want them. Why is that a GOOD thing?
Credit is one of the biggest differences between America and a third world country. We have access to capital. In short- It takes money to make money. How do you start a business with NO money? If you want to make shoes for a living in Honduras but you grew up starving where do you start? How do you get that money for the supplies to make that first pair of shoes? Even if you work hard to feed yourself and scrape enough off your meager wages to save for supplies it will only be enough to make one pair. Then you sell that pair but it is only enough to buy supplies for one more pair and save a few pennies. It may take you years upon years to build a thriving business.
For these people the conditions are oppressive. You can get loans locally but many of them will charge up to 300% interest!!!! 300%???? How do you pay that off? Not only that- many of the agreements require the person who takes the loan to only sell to the person who loaned the money. This creates a system where these people become virtual slaves. There is no possibility of repayment.
ENTER MICRO-LOANS!!! ENTER KIVA!!! There is now an organization that allows us to help people start small businesses all over the world!
Imagine this!!! YOU can make small loans to these people TODAY by simply clicking a button through pay pal. All you need is $25!!! 25 DOLLARS!!! Almost everyone reading this blog can do that.-
You can literally go to the website and look at profiles. You choose who you want to loan your money to and you click a button. Your loan is combined with other lenders when needed and you are now a lender. You will get to see updates of the business progress and even e-mail back and forth with the loan recipient. Then you will get the money paid back. 99.8% of people have paid back the loan in full!=
This is their ONE shot and they do not take it lightly. Not only that but there is extreme peer pressure in the villages for these people to pay off the loans quickly so other people in the village can get loans next. This also creates a situation where the other villagers pull together to help build and support each other's businesses.-
NO THAT IS NOT WHERE IT ENDS!
That is only the beginning my friends. It gets MUCH BETTER! Stick with me here.- Let's say today you lend $25 dollars to a woman trying to start a business in Honduras. You aren't just giving the money to her. She will pay it back to you with a minimal amount of interest. You get pictures of her and her business. You get to e-mail her and care about her and encourage her.
When she pays you back you can cash out if you want to OR you can take that money and lend it to someone else!!!
DO YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING???
Let's say that you decided to invest 25$ a month in Kiva to make loans to people. That is $300 dollars in the first year. Now let's say you get a little interest. That makes it about $315. Within 10 years if you continue to ONLY give $25 a month plus earn minimal interest this is how it will work... This is approximate but should be pretty close. I'll have Russ check it too since my math bites! :0)
2nd year you have $645.00 to lend
3rd year you have $992.00 to lend
4th year you have $1365 to lend
5th year you have $1738 to lend
6th year you have $2139 to lend
7th year you have $2560 to lend
8th year you have $3003 to lend
9th year you have $3468 to lend
10th year you have $3956 to lend-
WOWZER!!!! At only $25 a month you could be eventually lending out THOUSANDS of dollars every year to help people start new businesses. What if 100 people that read this blog committed to do just that??? That would be $400,000 in ten years being loaned out OVER AND OVER.-
THIS is just SO RIGHT!!!! How do we prevent children from becoming orphans AT ALL??? THIS IS HOW! We must provide their families with a way to provide for these children.
Here are some videos about the organization... Part one of three-documentary on Kiva
Part 2 of 3
Part 3 of 3
News story on Kiva
Interview with founders of Kiva
People who have been helped by Kiva
I believe this is an incredibly wise way to invest our money. We aren't just blindly giving it away never to be seen again. It compounds the power of our money in unimaginable ways. I am not saying there are not people we must simply give to because they are not able to provide for themselves. That is why we must care for orphans and widows. BUT here is a way to STOP the problem before it starts without EVER running out of money.
Here is little taste of what the Bible says about our money and giving. God wants us to be wise with our money. He wants us to care for those in need. Check it out.
The Story About Investment-
"It's also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left.Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master's investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master's money.
"After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: 'Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.'
"The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master's investment. His master commended him: 'Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.'
"The servant given one thousand said, 'Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.'
"The master was furious. 'That's a terrible way to live! It's criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
"'Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this "play-it-safe" who won't go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.'
The Sheep and the Goats
"When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.'
"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'
"Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because— I was hungry and you gave me no meal, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was homeless and you gave me no bed, I was shivering and you gave me no clothes, Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'
"Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?'
"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'
"Then those 'goats' will be herded to their eternal doom, but the 'sheep' to their eternal reward."
ALL RIGHT!!! That's all I have!! I am blogged out. :0) What do you think???