It sounds trite -- but one of my core beliefs is that individuals matter and that individual action can and does make a difference.
A couple of years ago I heard about Kiva.org on the Bill Moyer's show on PBS (oh, how I miss watching Bill Moyers each week!). It is an organization built on individuals helping individuals on a grass-roots level. It is a micro-financing non profit organization that makes micro-business loans to individual men and women and to small cooperative groups in poor countries and communities to begin and continue running their own small community based businesses. These loans are a little as $25.00.
So, through the Kiva.org website you can read about various entrepreneurs, choose who to loan $25 to, make the loan through Kiva, then when that loan is paid back I can re-loan the money to another individual through Kiva -- thus making that money work over and over again. You can see what I am talking about here: http://www.kiva.org
Kiva allows you to lend money to women and men in third world countries to help them grow their businesses. They then pay you back the money as their business grows, and you can choose to use it yourself or lend it to another person.
This is incredibly powerful. When businesses are able to prosper in third world countries, it brings up the standard of life and education for themselves, their families and their communities... and their country... and eventually the world. And when you empower a woman in business, she grows to have more power and self determination within her community and is much more inclined to spend money on investing in her children and their education.
Kiva gives you the chance to make small loans to borrowers working to start businesses and improve their lives. I’m already lending on Kiva and thought you'd like to join me with a $25 Free Trial. Redeem your Free Trial while they last!
Right now existing Kiva members (of which I am one) can invite others to make a FREE LOAN (due to a large generous donation I believe). You can click on the link below -- follow the instructions and direct a $25 loan (with no investment of your own) be made to the recipient of your choice. Now, when that money is repaid, rather than it going to you (which it would, if you loan more or choose to do a second loan with your own money), the money will then be used for another loan, continuing to help third world individuals fund small businesses (like purchasing chickens to sell eggs, or cloth to sell in the market) that help support their families. Kiva has a great reputation and a 98% repayment rate, and is making a real difference to real families. You can click the link below and join in this effort.