Several years back, I posted about using a $25 Kiva gift certificate I received from my cousin at Christmas to help a Kenyan farmer diversify into dairy farming.
The farmer ended up paying back most of the loan, so I've taken the money I got back, supplemented it, and reinvested it in another Kiva entrepreneur:
Mrs Victoria Alogno is a 62-year old woman who is married with five children. She lives with her family in Adéta. Victoria is a pioneer in bread making, she owns her own oven and she is much respected in the area. With this loan, she is going to build up a stock of wheat flour and other products used for making bread, in order to protect herself against significant market fluctuations and make a higher profit. Victoria's bread is of good quality and this is why, for several years, she has been the main provider of bread to small retailers in the village of Adéta and the surrounding area.
I confess I didn't even know where Adéta, Togo was located, so did some research. Apparently Togo (officially the Togolese Republic) is a country in West Africa. Approximately one half of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day. The official language is French, though many other languages are spoken in Togo.
Here's a blog of someone who worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Adéta, Togo until last year.
I know my contribution is very small in the grand scheme of things, but I like the idea of helping someone who is trying to improve their situation. It also makes me more aware of how good we have it here in North America, and focus on appreciating what I have rather than what I don't.
If you're interested in participating in Kiva's micro-loan program to help low-income entrepreneurs, visit http://www.kiva.org.