17th January 2011
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Kiva is in the running for $200,000 as part of the American Express Members Project ! This funding would mean big things for Kiva in 2011. To be awarded this honor, we need help from our supporters far and wide! All it takes is a vote from you, casted each week through the AMEX Take Part website.
Voting is easy and takes less than 2 minutes to complete. You do not need to be an American Express cardholder, but you must be 18 or over. Once registered, you can stay logged in, and simply visit the site each week to vote. For more info on the registration process, click here .
We realize it may be hard to remember to vote each week, so we have set up a calendar item for you (see below). This item will automatically link to your calendar and post a reminder each Tuesday afternoon through February 15. Once the contest has ended, the item will be automatically removed from your calendar.
There are some impressive organizations nominated in our category called “Community Development”, so your votes are very important. In the past, results have depended on a small margin of votes, so spread the word!
Start voting today and help us help others!
Questions about the Members Project or the voting process? Contact us .
17th January 2011
Link with 2 notes
by Rachel Gittinger
Today, we honor Martin Luther King Jr., a man who stood for justice and equality in face of great adversity. We are reminded that despite progress since the civil rights movement, both the USA and the world continue to face xenophobia and other divisive forces. Fundación Mujer demonstrates that microcredit can be one tool that effectively counters these challenges and offers opportunity to the oppressed.
Costa Rica is a country known for keeping the peace. In fact, they are often referred to as the “Switzerland of the Americas”. In 1948 the army was abolished and military spending was directed into social programs such as education. Today, Costa Rica has one of the highest literacy rates in Central America, at 94.9% (CIA World Factbook). This, among other historical characteristics, has allowed Costa Rica a development unique to that of its Central American neighbors. For example, as peace-loving social democracy, Costa Rica was spared some of the bitter wars and American involvement that plagued many other countries in Central America during the 70s and 80s. However, the news is not all positive. Costa Rica’s black population still faces discrimination. In fact, they were not bestowed citizenship until 1948. Limón, the Caribbean province where the black population is concentrated, remains the poorest province in Costa Rica. Racial slurs and xenophobia are still quite common, both towards the blacks and other minority populations, such as Nicaraguan immigrants.
In 2010 Costa Rica had a GDP per capita of $11,400 compared to a mere $2,900 in Nicaragua. (CIA World Factbook) This economic disparity has created a transnational migration. Currently, there are an estimated 300,000-500,000 Nicaraguans, both legal and illegal, working in Costa Rica. (CIA) Nicaraguans continue to arrive in search of work, hope, and opportunity in Costa Rica. Some come for seasonal work such as produce harvesting, while others are here to stay. This seems to be the limit to Costa Rica’s tolerance. These workers, legal or not, are often abused, forced to take jobs paying well below the minimum wage, and work under conditions that no Costa Rican would consider accepting. They were once welcomed, but recent economic struggles have prompted Costa Ricans to accuse Nicaraguans of stealing jobs and over-burdening the welfare system in search of health and education services. Sound familiar? Nicaraguans face the same issues that plague the Latino immigrants crossing the border into the United States.
Microcredit institutions in both countries can help to level the playing field. Here in Costa Rica, Fundación Mujer does not discriminate based on nationality, and many of their clients are hard-working Nicaraguan immigrants. One success story in particular is that of Doña Emelina. In 1987 she arrived in Costa Rica, desperate for a doctor capable of diagnosing and curing the illness that plagued her 4 year old son. Emelina arrived in Costa Rica with nothing and she began working as a seamstress to provide for her two children and pay the medical bills. She eventually solicited a loan from Fundación Mujer to expand her business. She has received 5 micro-loans. Today, her son is healthy and designs clothing for the business. She recently received an international contract to produce the uniforms for a Central American department store and employs between 7 and 10 workers. She hopes that the training and work that she provides will allow each of her employees with both the means and inspiration to reach their own life goals.
Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to advocating for a social climate that allowed each individual the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Neither politics nor personal attack changed his convictions about the dignity of humanity, and the rights of each individual to be treated with respect. Costa Rica currently faces the same challenge. Since November, an ongoing border dispute with Nicaragua has threatened the peace, and caused a surge in racism towards Nicaraguan immigrants. It is leadership of just individuals and institutions, such as Fundacion Mujer, that counters this racism and continues to treat these immigrants with the respect, dignity, and opportunity that they deserve.
15th January 2011
Photo reblogged from Cheap Magic Inside~ with 3 notes
In grade 12, for my World Issues class, we had this project where groups would fundraise for entrepreneurs on the microfinance loaning site, Kiva. Somehow my group decided that posters/flyers were necessary so I took the responsibility of making them. That said, I strongly recommend checking out the site and making a loan (it’s only $25 and you’ll get it back so you can keep on loaning if you want)!
15th January 2011
Photo reblogged from For Afghanistan with 2 notes
Madame does Nice Things: Kiva Loan for January
A little bit bout this loan:
This is Zakya, the leader of the Zakya Akbari group. A 34-year-old married mother of five children, two sons and three daughters, she lives in Kabul Afghanistan where she has run an embroidery business for more than three years.
With significant experience in embroidery, Zakya hopes to expand her business in order to support her entire family. With this loan she wants to buy more white cloths and other materials necessary for her business. She would like to thank both AFS and Kiva lenders for their support to people around the world.
7th January 2011
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In partnership with Dermalogica and strategic partners, today Kiva.org is launching joinFITE.org to provide microloans to women entrepreneurs in low-income regions of the United States and 56 other countries.
A novel aspect of the campaign is its engagement of retail consumers as microlenders. Dermalogica, for example, will contribute $1 every time a consumer goes to the joinFITE.org Web site and enters a code printed on FITE-themed packaging that the company is using for five of its best-selling products. The resulting micro loan is made available to a designated entrepreneur within hours.
“We know the collective impact of consumer action and socially responsible business practices can create sustainable and far-reaching change,” said strategic partner actress Geena Davis. “Together, we can maximize our effort to empower women and girls around the world.”
”Empowering women tends to lead to faster economic growth,” said strategic partner co-author of Half the Sky and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
2nd January 2011
Text reblogged from Reverberations of Laughter with 4 notes
‘Twas the Night before Christmas…
…and all across the map,
Not an entrepreneur was resting,
Not even a quick nap.
They have work to be done,
Opportunities never sleep.
With visions of better lives,
Their commitment runs deep.
This holiday season,
Kiva simply wishes to say:
Of you, our lenders and borrowers,
We are proud every day.
Kiva wishes you Happy Holidays, and a safe and healthy New Year.
(source: Kiva.org Holiday Newsletter)
21st December 2010
Video reblogged from we are the man of sun. with 108 notes
How the Global Food Market Starves the Poor
This is 9 mins long, and it goes by quickly. I suggest watching this for a quick primer (or refresher) on the global food situation, and there are even a few tidbits of advice on what we, the rich, can do to alleviate some of the horrid conditions elsewhere. However, I have one problem: the video mentions that humans have an old proverb that says ‘give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day, give him a fishing pole and he’ll eat for a lifetime’. This part sort of implies (maybe it doesn’t but it got me thinking so I wanted to share my thoughts) that countries who have starvation and undernourishment need to be taught how to be ”better” farmers. I agree that we need local communities and local farmers providing for one another but the reason that they can’t is because of rich corporations and governments have stolen the land that was once used by the locals so that we can have coffee any time we want, so that we can have pineapple year round, etc.
Homo sapiens all over the world know how to live, and know how to protect their land and how to rotate crops, we need to allow them and give them back what is theirs. They don’t need our wicked “education”, they need their rights and their power, and their land. This food, and water crisis, has been created by us.
So what can we do?
2. Support real fair-trade products as much as we can.
3. Alter our diet by eating less resource-demanding foods.
4. Learn and spread information; spread empathy, compassion, and humanity.
5. Learn about the corporations you support when you buy ANYTHING.
6. Erase all boundaries and differences (nationalism) in your heart and realize that we are all one race, and nobody deserves more than anyone else.
7. Whatever your heart tells you to do.
20th December 2010
Photo reblogged from KrazyKorean with 4 notes
Give Kiva as a holiday gift!
16th December 2010
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Kiva - Lender > Adriane
Is the Kiva Gift Certificate winner this month!
she’s known around here on tumblr as prettymess..go check her site out!