Recently it occurred to me that organizations like Kiva and SEF are teaching adults in the developing world lessons about business and commerce that are similar to the lessons my parents taught me, back when they took me to the local bank as a fourth grader to open a checking account so I could buy my first pig.
Saving, borrowing, buying, expenses, negotiating. Selling. Profit. Or, loss.
When I think of things in this context, it’s astounding to consider how much work there is to be done around the world to pull people out of poverty.
Concepts I took for granted as a 10-year-old, FORTY YEARS AGO in the USA, are being taught in 2010 to adults in developing countries as something totally new.
Sure, many people are very aware of all of this and are probably amused that it’s taken me this long to realize these fundamental truths.
But, for others out there who donate on a regular basis, but are a little behind the curve like me, stop and think about this when you get a chance.
Consider donating your time and money to projects and organizations that not only hand out food, but also teach people to farm and do business for themselves.
Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.
The Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) is a not-for-profit, pro-poor microfinance institution working towards the eradication of poverty by creating a supportive environment where credit and savings services foster sustainable income generation, job creation and social empowerment.