Thursday, February 3, 2011

KIVA loans

One of the most amazing gifts I ever received from my son was a KIVA card for Mother's Day last year. Although we do not live in the same state, John and I are close. We talk often. But gifts? for Mother's Day? Not so much. I'm usually working on Mother's Day anyways. But last year, he blew me away with a KIVA card. What a superb gift!

I loaned the $25 gift to Ana. She is 27 years old, a widow and has a young child. She lives in the jungle of Ayacucho, where she has her own house made of wood. Ana had wanted to study agronomy, but due to her economic situation, she couldn’t finish her secondary studies, and her plans never worked out. She understood that she could not depend on her parents, so she began work as a laborer on her neighbor’s farm. All the money that she earned, she saved up. Now she has her own land to cultivate, produce and sell cacao and coffee. “It’s not possible” does not exist for her. For this reason, she has already found her niche in the market, generating quite a degree of success for her young age. Her success is due to her early mornings at her farm, to give it needed attention. In general, she works Monday through Saturday, from 5:30am until 6:00pm. Normally, her products are sold at centers in her community. In the future, she plans to put in a grocery store to diversify her market. ... Ana invested this money in fertilizers and other consumables, with the goal of improving her cacao and coffee plantations.

Ana's story appealed to me because, like me, she was widowed very young and had to figure out what to do next. I had far more luck than she, being born where and when I was. When I was widowed I already had my education and deep roots in my community.

Ana paid back her loan right on time. I have subsequently re-loaned the original amount to Sebastiana Gutierrez Quispe, an artist, also form Peru. She is right on schedule with her payments as well.

I want to expand my activities on KIVA with your help. I announced a few days ago that I will be lending 5% of the gross sales of Sue's Luxury fiber to women associated with the arts at KIVA.ORG. The minimum loan is $25 and we have already almost reached that benchmark! WOW! THANK YOU! I'll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, you, too, can make a difference. go to KIVA.ORG and see.

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