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FREE SPEECH ZONE | Celebrating Kiva in Minnesota and across the world on October 20
To some, it means “unity” in Swahili. To others, it doesn’t mean much at all. Yet for a growing number of individuals and communities around the world, Kiva means an opportunity to break free from the poverty cycle.
Kiva, a non-profit organization, works to help individuals break free from the poverty cycle through the facilitation of micro-loans. Consider Maria, a mother of three in Peru. Maria does not have the funds to buy a chicken, animal feed, or other materials that she needs to start a farm. She does not have access to a traditional bank, and even if she did, they would deny her of a loan because she is poor. Without the ability to buy these materials, Maria is out of luck; she remains trapped in the poverty cycle, which will eventually engulf her children.
This is where Kiva steps in. Through the power of the Internet and current micro-financing institutions, Kiva allows individuals to lend as little as 25 dollars to a poor entrepreneur of their choice. When enough people come together to fund the complete loan—from $100 to $2,000—the poor entrepreneur can use her or his talents, skills, and knowledge to build a better life for her or his family and community. With a loan from Kiva, María can build her own farm, support her family, and improve her community. With her new business, Maria can live above the poverty line and pay back the loan in full—the loan passes through Kiva and back into the lender’s account to be re-lent or taken out.
Kiva has had an amazing impact on the world. Lenders have given 479,890 loans totaling 359,910,925 dollars. Most importantly, these loans have changed the lives of 880,410 borrowers. This October is Kiva’s 7th anniversary of its first microloan, and that is a cause for celebration.
As a representative of Minneapolis/St. Paul Kiva Lending Team,” I would like to invite you to celebrate Kiva’s 7th Birthday. Join us at The Cedar Cultural Center on October 20th as we kick-off this year’s Loan-A-Thon and build stronger connections in the Twin Cities Kiva community. The event is free and open to the public, so grab some friends and kiva (remember that means “unite”)! With Kiva’s help, you can make a difference in Maria’s life. You can help defeat global poverty!
Where: The Cedar Cultural Center
When: October 20th 7:00pm- 9:00pm
Why: Celebrate Kiva’s 7th Birthday!
Contact: vivakiva [at] umn [dot] edu with questions
The Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. The opinions expressed in the Free Speech Zone and Neighborhood Notes, as well as the opinions of bloggers, are their own and not necessarily the opinion of the TC Daily Planet.
© 2012 Jenny Weber