I know that some of my readers are familiar with Kiva, the site that allows individuals to contribute to loans made to entrepeneurs in developing parts of the world. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, I strongly recommend checking it out. It's an interesting site, and a fun way to help out people around the globe.
I got started with Kiva back in August. I kept running into friends -- both locally and online -- who were involved with the project. I decided it was finally time to check it out for myself. And since then, I've been hooked. As of today, I've contributed to my ninth loan. Also, I just discovered that one of my loans was completely paid off earlier this month. I'm quite pleased with that milestone.
Of course, I'm also disappointed by it. The loan that was paid off was a four month loan. Because of the short duration, monthly repayments were in pretty hefty chunks. This meant that between it and the smaller repayments from longer loans, I had been enjoying the ability to recycle my contributions and add a new loan about once a month. Now that I won't be getting that sizeable contribution each month, I will probably have to funnel more money into my Kiva account in order to keep adding a new loan a month. Fortunately, that should be doable.
Of course, another big challenge with Kiva right now -- and I admit that it's a nice challenge to be facing -- is actually finding new loans to fund. There are enough lenders participating that loans are being funded almost as quickly as they're being added. This means that to contribute, it's often necessary to regularly check the site and jump on a loan as soon as you spot it. Otherwise, it's liable to be fully funded. But like I said, that's a nice challenge to face.
I haven't helped buy a goat yet, but I have some of my contributions have been gone towards the purchase of a cow, a sewing machine, supplies for a couple stores, and building supplies.