goat-200x200The Follen goat is working hard for Follen donors and Kiva entrepreneurs worldwide!

What Is Kiva?

Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.  Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.  Visit Follen’s Kiva page and see our nearly 900 loans!

How Is Kiva Different?

Individuals loan $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur across the globe.  Kiva aggregates the loan funds from all contributing lenders.   You choose whom to lend to – whether a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, a restaurateur in Cambodia, or a tailor in Iraq – and as they repay their loan, we get our money back. Then we can lend again or can withdraw the funds. It’s a powerful and sustainable way to empower someone right now to lift themselves out of poverty.

How Does Kiva Work at Follen?

The Follen Kiva Committee makes its fundraising appeal in November, although contributions are accepted throughout the year.  People interested in supporting Kiva financially can do the following. First, an individual can make a $25 donation to “Follen Church – Kiva Account.” Individuals have the option of putting the money into the Follen Church Kiva general fund or can check off their preference for investing (including gender, sector [e.g., agriculture, manufacturing, “green”] and region [e.g., Africa, Asia, North America]). (Kiva Contribution Form)  The Follen Kiva Committee makes the loan to match the preferences as closely as possible.

The donor receives a profile of the person they loaned to and a description of their project.  After the loan is repaid (usually in 6 to 12 months), the money will be reloaned to a new entrepreneur.

The Follen Kiva Committee will retain the funds and continue to reloan.  (It is our hope that in the future we have a solid base that allows a continual global reloaning program.)  In other words, your initial $25 gift will continue to keep giving.

How Can I  Get Involved?

To help the Kiva Committee, email kiva@follen.org. We are always looking for new ways to incorporate Kiva as part of this church-wide initiative and would be happy to have you participate.