Kiva is part of a new pattern language. It is an alternative to “charity”.
With Kiva you lend any amount — I generally lend $25 — to anyone anywhere in the world and she or he uses the money to set up or improve a small business. My $25 is added to other loans to make up a total of $1000 more or less — enough to enable a good business move in Peru, Ukraine, Ghana or wherever you elect to send your loan.
Now these loans, unlike charitable gifts, are repaid. This means that, for almost every $25 I loan, I get back $25. When I lend it again I get back another $25. This means that as fast as loans are repaid, you can duplicate them. I now have made over 200 loans. A very modest initial effort rolls right along and amounts to something over time.
I invite you to visit my Kiva lender page and see what a few clicks has done. Not to show off. This is the product of considerable thought. It is a personal decision to avoid most charitable giving and try to help others in a nonpaternistic way. This includes helping Kiva ensure that my loans are delivered to grass roots persons who will use them to build profitable enterprises where they live. A portion of what I give is a completely optional contribution to Kiva.
Pattern Language is my phrase to embrace not only the seminal work of Christopher Alexander but a way of life that moves us more fully to self-realization. I have no real affection for the plethora of stuff out there on personal development. It becomes a form of ego-bolstering which is really a sign of a dearth of meaning and direction in society.
I prefer the simplicity of an integral approach that uses psychosynthesis to reckon with human self-understanding and something like Kiva to provide a way to help others.
See the brief at https://stephencrose.wordpress.com/pattern-language/
I forgot to mention that I could at any time take out part or all of my repaid loans. For some this is a real option for parking money that would otherwise be mouldering away somewhere. Suppose you have $10,000 you do not need — savings for a rainy day Lend it through Kiva. Keep getting repaid. Anytime you need the repayments, collect. You have helped jump start hundreds of small businesses around the world. I think that’s what Jesus wanted us to do with any fallow money. And when payment comes back many fold it is because you have used the same money over and over to keep the results coming.