From Wikipedia – Microcredit is a financial innovation which is generally considered to have originated with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. In that country, it has successfully enabled extremely impoverished people to engage in self-employment projects that allow them to generate an income and, in many cases, begin to build wealth and exit poverty.
I recently have made several small loans using Kiva at Kiva.org. At Kiva you as a potential lender can select from a listing of individual or lending groups and make loans as small as $25. You choose who you want to lend to and how much.
You may lend as an individual or you may join a community and add your loan information to the communities (your loan remains yours regardless and not the community’s)
Here is just a small bit of information from the Kiva web site:
“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.”
I encourage anyone to look into making a small loan. If you would like you may join our temple’s community by entering Myosho-ji. But more important than joining our community is just making a loan.
Please consider this opportunity to give back some of the prosperity, no matter how small, that you have benefited from living in our very affluent society. Many many things have come to us and have been made available to us without our ever asking. Behind each of us is a tremendous economy from which we have benefited, even if only minimally. This is a chance to put some of those benefits out to other people in the world.
This is not charity, these borrowers work hard to repay these loans, and indeed they are loans. You can check out the repayment statistics.
Please consider this.