21 April 2011


Gulmira Ismayilova lives in the Khaladj village in the Salyan region of Azerbaijan, Asia. (Please don't ask me to pronounce that last sentence outloud...I just can't do it.) This is a picture of her daughter. Gulmira and her daughter run their own farming business and needed a plot of land to improve the business. The plot of land cost $1,200.

I only donated $25 to Gulmira's plot of land, but even at that small amount, she raised her $1,200 within 16 days through Kiva. She repaid the loan in full in exactly 16 months.

I'm sure many of you have heard of Kiva, but I wanted to showcase it a little here. I love it. Since I can't very well trip on over to Asia to hand a woman a stash of cash to aid in the improvement of her situation, this is the next best thing. I can see pictures of the people getting the loan, I can see pictures of their businesses and where the money is going, and I can celebrate with them when they pay it all back. What an accomplishment for everyone.

And then, it's time to recycle the money and loan again. My measly little $25 - which I could have used to pay a water bill, to buy four cans of formula, or to put just enough gas in the truck for one trip to work and back - can help not one, but dozens of others.

That feels pretty stinkin' good.

This is what the website says about them:

"Why we do what we do

We envision a world where all people - even in the most remote areas of the globe - hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others. We believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families."

This is where I have to admit that I did not discover Kiva on my own, nor did I go looking for a way to donate money to a female farmer on the other side of the world, because I felt so inclined. No, I saw it on Oprah. Yes, I know. But hey...it got me all kinds of inspired...back in 2007. Four years later, I'm still on board and still rotating that same $25!

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