The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Helping Parents...Kiva

An orphan is defined as a child who has lost either one or both parents. And, often times in developing countries (the) parent(s) will simply - painfully, but simply - hand their child over to the authorities because they cannot financially afford to meet basic needs. These include resources such as drinking water, food, and shelter. We're talking really really basic. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for adoption - obviously.

But, what if there wasn't a need? What if each child in the world had one or both of their parents able to care for them. Regardless of where they lived, in Africa or America, in Canada or Cambodia, wouldn't it be incredible if children remained with their biological parents?

The stark reality is, however, that these often young parents can barely feed themselves. They have an unconditional love for their child and the desire to give them something more. More than a lifetime of struggle. More than the uncertainty of a next meal...not where it will come from but if it will actually become reality. More than an uncertain future.

On the other hand, there are (young) parents in these same countries who have a small sum of money scraped together and an entrepreneurial drive. They want more. They want to not only exist but to give their children a fighting chance at a their place of birth. And in turn, they want their children to give their children a chance. Opportunity. Freedom to break away from the shackles of poverty.

They need help and they need hope.

Kiva does just that. It gives hope to the hopeless. It offers Finances to the Poor.

This awesome organization offers loans to those in poverty who desire, legitimately, to run a small business. Each entrepreneur is pre-screened - this is a totally legit organization. (Check out all of it's supporters!) In it's most basic form Kiva facilitates this: Money lent to small business entrepreneurs, helps them get their feet on the ground. The money is repaid to the original (usually North American...but it is an international organization) lender within only 6-12months. Loans can be as little as $25 a month. (This isn't just for the "rich and famous".) The intention and hope is that the lender will understand the impact this gift has made and in turn, lend again. Families and small businesses thrive in developing countries.

The poverty line declines

Not only are these poor entrepreneurs being lent money. The financial aid symbolizes the hope and confidence those with "more" have placed in those with "less". It symbolizes that their lives, their businesses, their families are valuable. They are worthy. Equally as priceless. It signifies that a concrete house with a solid roof does not trump a mud hut. It denotes the value of spirit, pride, work ethic, and desire as invaluable.

So, if you're in the business of helping others. And, if you want to help prevent orphaned children, invest in Kiva.

You will change lives.

You can lift a family out of poverty.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails..." -Mark Twain

1 comment:

Pops said...

...that's my girl!