Advocating Kiva

You will have noticed that the sidebar now greets you with a kiva.org banner on top. Optical aspects aside – the colors of the ad can be distracting until you enlarge the main post’s photography by clicking on it – I found it high time to extend my private support of kiva.org by advocating it in public.

During my many travels outside of Europe I have seen too much poverty (and photographed) to just sleep well and enjoy my personal wealth. And I have met many many engaged peoply, working hard to improve their living conditions but meeting limits they cannot overcome by themselves. The lack of bank loans at reasonable conditions is one of them.

Microcredits can mitigate this problem, however most of the traditional banks seem to prefer high risk games instead of this hard groundwork. kiva.org steps in here and acts as a broker between lenders and loan seekers. If you are interested, please have a look at their website about all the details.

What is still making me sad is a fact confirmed by everybody with some insight into the microcredit, namely that the average credit risk is lower by dimensions when the loan is given to a woman. Just think of it: men, at least in the income groups where microcredits are requested, are as a species much less reliable partners for a bank than women are. No racism, just sad statistics.

Leaving that aside for the moment, the kiva website offers you a broad spectrum for investing – all over the world, as individual or member of a group, to individuals or collectives. Paying is made easy through PayPal, which according to the kiva FAQ does not collect fees on these transactions. And citizens of the U.S. can deduce donations to kiva.org from their taxes.

I hope I have encouraged some of my readers to do a lot of good even with small amounts.


  1. Markus, Bravo! I’ve been a supporter/loaner on Kiva for several years and thus far have not experienced any case where the loan was not fully paid back on time. It’s heartwarming to know that a relative small amount of money, for me, can make a big difference in others lives.

    1. Earl, I guess Freddie and Fanny would lick their fingers up to the elbows (at least) for a repayment rate like kiva’s. And yes, what we pay for a simple UV-0 filter can make a big difference for a family whe we redirect it to a loan.

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