Posted by: guinness222 | December 8, 2007

Chapter Two – "I get by with a little help from my friends"

One of my all time favorite Beatles tunes from “days of yore”. But it has always been a reminder of us all helping each other out, whenever we can. Why? It’s simple ’cause none of us is getting out of here alive! And that’s a fact,…so do some good, it doesn’t hurt and it’s warmth to a little corner of your heart.
End of sermon (damn I shoulda been a preacher!)
I found some really neat new stuff on the web and I thought I’d share it with you, cause it might just warm a corner of your heart.
http://www.kivo.org , check it out. A friend of mine told me about a financial network TV program coming up the other night with a segment on “Second Life” (Yeah, I’ve been learning it for a couple of months already behind closed doors in the privacy of “the pit”, names McCallen, ..Shawno McCallen if any of you get to second life, well look me up)
Anyway I digress. I watched the segment on second life with interest,, and then before I could switch back to a twenty-eighth re-run of “Law & Order”, a new segment came on about this “Kivo”, so I watched it.
Seems like in the less fortunate parts of the world there are people whose desire to support themselves and thier families, as well as not be “on the dole”, or sucking of the public teat, and they have desire, ambition, an idea, but alas,…no money. (Sure sure I can hear you now, well so what so do a lot of people sounds like a scam coming up.) I said the same thing, but they explained the concept simply. It’s not like the individual in Equador is looking for a half a million dollars for a MacDonals franchise, but a total of $700 to open a livestack sales business. Cool, but I don’t have an extra $700 in my jeans. But they went on to say that all they would accept from anyone was $25. And if 28 of us “chipped in” $25 a piece it would be done, and it was not a “gift” but a business loan that would be repaid. The monies wnet directly to the “entrepreneur” through hundred of “micro banks”, and the loans had to be repaid. The idea intrigued me, so when the piece ended I popped up stair to “the Pit” and checked it out.
http://www.kiva.org – sign up is free, and there is an international catalogue of entreprenuers, with thier picture, a summary of thier plan for thier business, a check out tht it’s all on the “up and up” by the local “micro-bank”, but what amazed me was the amount of money that the “micro-banks” , utilizing the measely $25 per person had put into economies from Equador to Tanzania, to Aberbajan. They were simple businesses, ideas of men, women, and groups of men and women. Being a bit of a skeptic I looked through the “money wanted” section at all the little businesses. The thing that truly amazed me was the virtually complete lack of “bad debt” or “failed loans” they were ZERO. and the “micro banks” were utilizing MILLIONS of dollars on these little loans. And they were all being repaid!!!
I said what the hell and after perusing all the candidates I decided I’d skip a few beers this week and spring for $25. (Make someone around the world an early Christmas present or some such.) I selected this woman who was standing in this scrawny looking “field” of her families “farm” and wanted $1200 for fertilizer, pest control , fungicides etc. so she could plant and grow Yams to sell from her land.
You get an account, and your “investment” shows up on your account, with the picture, you get periodic updates, and the repayments are posted to your account and you can see all the other “investors” that with you, are making this possible. As you get re-paid your “cash” grows in your account and you can either take it out and it cost you nothing, or “re-invest” in other ideas and entrepreneurs around the world.
It fasinates me that my little “beer money” is capable of helping someone stand on thier own two feet and be proud to be able to support thier own family, not by “gifts” but in the basic business method of banking.
I would urge everyone to check out this web sight, make your own decisions, but I know I really feel like I am making a difference in someone’s life, somewhere on this planet, and yes, that another human being now has more dignity and character,…and I helped them get it!
http://www.kiva.org

-30- Stay tuned for Chapter 3 of the weekend blog “where did I come from?”


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