kiva_logoKiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to ‘connect people through lending to alleviate poverty’. It uses the internet to create a worldwide network of microfinance institutions and allows individuals to lend as little as $25. Since Kiva was founded in 2005, more than 784,556 have lent $327 million in loans and they have a repayment rate of 98.97%. They work with 154 Field Partners and 450 volunteers around the world in 62 different countries.

Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. One hundred percent of the loan is sent to these microfinance institutions, which they call Field Partners, who administer the loans in the field. Kiva relies on a world wide network of over 450 volunteers who work with their Field Partners, edit and translate borrower stories, and ensure the smooth operation of countless other Kiva programs.

Furthermore, Kiva does not charge interest to their Field Partners, who administer the loans. Kiva is primarily funded through the support of lenders making optional donations. They also raise funds through grants, corporate sponsors, and foundations.

http://www.kiva.org/

To find out more about Kiva’s work in the field you can read one of their volunteer’s blog from projects in Colombia, Haiti and the Dominican Republic: –

The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field (Part 1)

http://fellowsblog.kiva.org/2011/05/23/the-pros-and-cons-of-microfinance-a-view-from-the-field-part-1/

There is also a video showing what life is like as a Kiva Fellow (Volunteer)

http://www.youtube.com/v/Ly_eHENW5Ro

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