Monday, March 01, 2010

It is March 1st. My grant proposal should be on the Pepsi Refresh website. I see that there are over a thousand requests. I could not find my proposal after reading over 200 of them. Perhaps I should start at the bottom of the list and work up. Any ways, I was able to vote for 10 good ideas....ideas that other people proposed. I will vote again tomorrow. See what happens.
One proposal was for drums for the middle school in Syracuse New York that my grandson used to attend. He's now in high school.
My enthusiasm for Kiva has not wained, even though, through more research, I see there are dangers in loaning money in poor countries. I have decided to not loan money if people need food or to pay medical bills as they have no means to repay that loan. Those people should be at free clinics and shelters....Hopefully those services are available.
I am still interested in loaning money to women that are operating a business. The dangers of doing this are a few: crops could fail and there is no way the loan could be repaid. Unstable countries could fall or the local currency could be devalued. War or sickness or flood or earthquake could ruin plans. The local bank could fail. Still, the idea is a good one.
It is my understanding that the repayment rate is very high. A micro loan is a wonderful thing to receive. It is a lifeline to establish or continue a business. The receiver of the loan has a reputation to uphold. Most loans are repaid. Some people have established a good credit rating. They've had loans before and paid them off.
Some people have banded together to run a business. The group applies for the loan. They elect their spokesperson. If one of the group slacks off, the others are there for discipline. This program is much like the Good Will program in my community. It is "not a hand out. It is a hand up.".
Go to the Kiva website and look at the photographs of people applying for a loan. See also, the photographs of people willing to risk a micro loan to someone they don't know. Loaners won't make a lot of money doing this. In fact, they may lose money. This isn't the purpose. It is a people to people opportunity to help someone who really needs the help. Only loan money you are willing to lose.
I am going to do this again with my own money. If I get the Pepsi grant, that will be even better.