Updated: Jul 29
I just made my first loan through Kiva (www.kiva.org). I lent money to a woman farmer named Maricel. Marciel lives in the Philippines and is married with 2 children. Her oldest child is only 5 years old. She is a farmer working in Sta. Josefa, Agusan del sur. She has been growing rice for 5 years. She earns 5,000 PHP per month doing this farming. She requested a loan of $250 to purchase seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs. In the future, she hopes to improve her business and be able to sustain her family. 8 people lent Marciel the money she needs and my loan put her at $250.
Marciel came to Kiva through Field Partner, Community Economic Ventures, Inc. (CEVI), based in Bohol. In addition to providing credit for its clients, CEVI provides savings, insurance, and training through regular cluster group meetings.
The processes to register, to view profiles of borrowers and to actually make a loan were seamless. Kiva asks for lenders to “tip” them with each loan in order to help pay for the costs of providing infrastructure. This tip is optional. They do not take a piece of the loan as it goes directly to the borrower.
This service is a great way to get started in microfinance. Kiva makes it easy to select the sector focus of your loan – their featured loans are group loans, housing loans and agriculture loans. There are currently over 1300 loans available. Kiva provides a profile of the borrower, information on the Field Partner and the use and terms of the loan. All Field Partners are rated for their ability to cultivate and support borrowers.
This initiative is about giving a hand up to entrepreneurs working towards better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.