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.
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