Growing up my family frequently faced hardships. My Daddy was paid monthly and sometime, toward the end of the month funds would run out and we struggled. I understand what it means to lack necessities from time to time. Occasionally my father would take out a small loan to help us get through. He was meticulous about repaying and never once had a delinquent loan at his hands. We were fortunate that this was available and because my father could make arrangements to repay. This is so similar to those that seek loans through Kiva. These are people who are simply working to improve their situation. Kiva’s small loans help them do that. It may be a woman that wants to expand her sewing business with a newer faster sewing machine. It could be a farmer that wants to expand their egg and milk business by purchasing a cow and some chickens; or maybe a taxi driver that needs to pay for a repair on their tuk tuk to get back on the road and earning a living.
It came to me in meditation that with Kiva, “I want to enable the poor without being an enabler.”
Another reason that Kiva seems to hit me in the gizzard is because these are people familiar to me. Not just because they remind me of my own history but also because in my travels I have visited many of the 90+ countries where Kiva provides loans. I have seen these people up close and personally. I’ve met taxi drivers in Kenya and goat farmers in India. These are not just images on a website or CNN to me. They are the people I have met all over the world who are working to make their lives better.
Kiva also has a successful repayment record with over 94% of loans repaid on time. That’s a testament to the working class ethics of people all over the world who are only looking for a hand up not a hand out. It came to me in meditation that with Kiva, I want to enable the poor without being an enabler. Kiva lets me feel secure in knowing that those that are seeking support are doing their best to repay. Even the small percentage that fail to repay are likely to try harder next time. Sometimes the best lessons come from failure. I’ve certainly learned more and appreciated my own successes when I have had to over come failures first rather than the easy first tries.
The Mirani Foundation will always support those in need without expectation of repayment. We seek out organizations helping the most vulnerable and impoverished and looking for ways to break the cycle of poverty through health education and social justice. Kiva holds a special place in filling in a need that banks and charitable organizations cannot address; the small entrepreneur working to better themselves and their family.