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Baha’is Lend $1.4m through Kiva

January 6, 2013, in Articles > Baha'i Life, by
Photo by hodag

In the days before the internet, being a Bahai and trying to help the poor could be a little bit more challenging than it is today. If you want to help struggling families on the other side of the world, but don’t know where to start or how to go about it, then consider the web-based microloan service Kiva.

Kiva is a non-profit organization that helps the less fortunate via loans given by people such as yourself to help them purchase whatever they need to maintain their livelihood. You can loan as little as $25 to make a big difference in someones life. Loans eventually get paid back, and then you can re-loan the money again. Kiva has a How it Works page which explains more about the mechanics of loaning via the service.

So far there are roughly 350 Baha’is on Kiva making a difference to people on the other side of the planet, who aren’t necessarily in their midst. How much of a difference did they make? Try a whopping $1.4 million difference in over 6600 different loans.

The best part of the whole operation is that 100% of the money you loan (yes that’s right), goes to the people in need! Kiva doesn’t even take a cut. So how does it remain afloat, I hear you ask? Well you can also make donations to Kiva to allow it to continue helping others.

So come join the Baha’i lending team on Kiva and help make a difference to families around the world.

The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.

-Baha’u’llah
Posted by

Muji

Muji is a 5th year medical student studying at the University of Melbourne. He enjoys gaming and sports.

Discussion 7 Comments

Readers here at Baha’i Blog might find the following item I havew posted at my website to deal with the many requests I get in cyberspace.-Ron
————————————
MY RESPONSE TO REQUESTS AT:
(i) INTERNET SITES, (ii) SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES(SNS) and DIRECT EMAIL

Part 1

I have written the following paragraphs as a response to the many requests I get: at SNS, at the multitude of other sites at which I have registered in the years: 1997 to 2013, and in my incoming email directory. I get requests from people:

(i) to help them with their financial and business life;
(ii) to assist them in some way or other with their romantic, marital, and/or sexual life;
(iii) to play some part in their personal activities like winning a game or contest of some kind—by voting for some topic or item of their choice;

and:

(iv) to join them in their concern for, or their interest in, meditation or music, yoga or yesterdays, the treatment of kiddies or kangaroos, cats or climate, the killing of dogs or dolphins, types of food or fashion, Bolivian miners or breast cancer, geography or google, rags or riches, crime or criminals;
(v) to express my enthusiasm for, or my interest in: their social and family life, their domestic and leisure activity like cooking or cool games, their having fun or having anxiety, their philosophy or religion, as well as what they did today or what they are going to do tomorrow; and
(vi) to take part in some financial venture which to the unassuming may take the person in, but which on investigation, or even without any investigation, is clearly a scam of some sort using an increasingly original variety of targets and techniques, messages and methods.

Part 2: DONATIONS AND DOLLARS, DATES AND DALLIANCES

People also write to me to ask for donations to more causes and charities than I ever knew existed. Many, in the last two years, mostly women, but sometimes even men, send me photos of themselves in the hope that we might have a date or a dalliance with no questions asked, as they say, in some secluded or public place like a hotel or even their own home. I try to respond to these requests with honesty and courtesy, tact and kindness. Honesty and courtesy are difficult qualities to combine, but I do my best to let people down easily, especially people whom I have known for some time and: (i) are very keen to have my help or (ii) who have unrealistic expectations regarding what help I am able to offer to them.

Then there are the troubled poor and destitute, people in unbelieveably difficult situations. There are now millions of people who utilize the web, who would like me to help them with their in extremis personal troubles. At the other end of the financial spectrum there are a group of people mostly, it seems, in African countries who have thousands, and often, millions of dollars to dispose of and they seek my help. In the last year or so people who live on other continents are contacting me to help them deal with their extra money given to them in a Will or by a sick relative who would like my help. The emails I now receive are often beyond belief and, in many cases, are better not to be believed or taken seriously.

Sometimes I reply and sometimes I ignore these types of requests. As my years in cyberspace are now going through their 3rd decade, I find I could spend many an hour dealing with an immense variety of: (i) troubled and anxious souls, (ii) souls with a variety of simple desires and wants, concerns and wishes, hopes and aspirations, and (iii) souls reaching out on the world-wide-web for something, for someone, or other. I limit my internet helping-mode to small packages of time so that I can get on with my life, and my own commitments and concerns. We all have to work out our own MO, as they say in the who-dun-its, for dealing with those who want to: (a) give us advice, (b) give us, share with us, entertaining bits of information, visual or oral life, or (c) ask our help in connection with an incredible array of things.

RonPrice (January 1, 2013 at 10:53 PM)

This post at Baha’i Blog in relation to Kiva is obviously intended to help struggling families on the other side of the world. I want to thank Baha’i Blog for this post. I’m sure many others who don’t know where to start or how to go about helping people in this troubled world will find this web-based microloan service—Kiva—of practical use.-Ron

RonPrice (January 1, 2013 at 11:00 PM)

Shouldn’t we be encouraging Bahai’s to give money to the Bahai Fund to further the Bahai teachings that will eliminate the root causes of poverty, otherwise we are putting bandaids on a hemorrhage?

“Feed a man a fish, he eats for one day, teach a man to fish, he eats for life” from the bible

Rose (January 1, 2013 at 7:39 AM)

Thats very true, perhaps the two ideas are not so opposing as we might initially think, as a good physician will treat both the symptoms, to alleviate the suffering of the patient, and the root cause.

Alexander (January 1, 2016 at 3:57 AM)

Thank you specially for this very close to my heart issue and also for your work sending us these Blogs.

Hooshang (January 1, 2013 at 1:29 AM)

There are those who have not had successful relationships with Kiva as well. I applaud the idea, but I am a little nervous in basing such a category as micro-web loan on just one organization, however satisfied one individual is. You mentioned other Bahais who have contributed, it would have been a step up to try to poll those people for their experiences. Kiva has changed since its early days, bigger and richer does not necessarily mean better…
regards from Japan

Thomas (January 1, 2013 at 12:41 PM)

I try to pledge a new $25 loan each payday and only once has a loan failed to completely pay back. The final payment of about $2.50 was missed. Not a big deal to me, and I hope the loan helped those who received it.
Since reading “Half the Sky”, I prefer lending to women with children in the poorest regions where the education of those children is a factor in the mother’s needs.
Overall, I am quite pleased with my Kiva involvement.

Jim Haslip (January 1, 2013 at 3:10 PM)

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