So I've added something new to the pups blog. It is on the left hand side it is a link to an organization called Kiva, which is a group that help facilates micro loans to needy people around the world. The idea started in Bangledesh, where Mohommad Yunus (known as the baker to the poor, he won the noble peace prize for his work in micro lending) had the idea that if the very poor could borrow money at decent rates they could develop small business and lift themselves out of poverty. Many of the poor where women who lacked the needed collateral or who needed sums so small most banks would not talk to them. They usually fell prey to money lenders who charged extremely high interest rates. Some of the sums seem paltry to us - $20 or $30 bucks, but in a place where many people live on less than a dollar a day that is a fortune.
Kiva is a organization that goes around the world looking for micro finance agencies who work with in the communities. These agencies work with small business owners to make sure they have the support to be sucessful and Kiva provides the capital. The neat thing about this is that you don't need a lot of money to help, your loan is pooled with others to match the amount needed. I like the thought that my money is going directly to a person rather than an agency and that I can see how my loan is used.
So if you've got a moment check them out.