Missional Monday : Kiva

Missional Monday is something I started mainly to help those who are part of our Frederick family to find additional ways to engage and serve the world. As we talked last week about loving all life, I decided I wanted to ways to help our church connect with people personally. I am specifically trying to help leverage technology to help us to each reach out around the world to influence the world for the Gospel. So, each Monday I'm posting a new organization or ministry that can be used to serve others and then share the Gospel with them.

This week we are going to feature Kiva. Kiva is an amazing site where people can help provide financial backing to workers who desire to start businesses in 3rd world countries. After having lived in Africa I can attest to the evils that dependence creates and I love Kiva because it helps meet needs but avoids the tragedy that can often come from creating cultural dependence. Kiva is a website that supports person-to-person micro-lending. Take a look at what they say about themselves.

Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.

The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.

Kiva partners with existing expert microfinance institutions. In doing so, we gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. Our partners are experts in choosing qualified entrepreneurs. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through Kiva, our partners upload their entrepreneur profiles directly to the site so you can lend to them. When you do, not only do you get a unique experience connecting to a specific entrepreneur on the other side of the planet, but our microfinance partners can do more of what they do, more efficiently.

Kiva provides a data-rich, transparent lending platform. We are constantly working to make the system more transparent to show how money flows throughout the entire cycle, and what effect it has on the people and institutions lending it, borrowing it, and managing it along the way. To do this, we are using the power of the internet to facilitate one-to-one connections that were previously prohibitively expensive. Child sponsorship has always been a high overhead business. Kiva creates a similar interpersonal connection at much lower costs due to the instant, inexpensive nature of internet delivery. The individuals featured on our website are real people who need a loan and are waiting for socially-minded individuals like you to lend them money.

To visit Kiva click here