January 07, 2006

Kiva. A very cool way to help people in developing countries (currently East Africa only) start, maintain, or expand their businesses.
  • That's they way things need to go, ultimately. But, the current situation in Africa is so critical that it's hard to concentrate on development. Plain old survival seems the most important thing at this point. There are so many places in the world that need help, but this seems the most needy. So, I'm going to go find a place that seems good to donate to. You could do the same. Also, my orangutan cause had had a huge influx of ofphaned babies due to loss of forest. A few dollars there wouldn't hurt.
  • The orangutan link is actually this.
  • While I do agree with some of your sentiments (Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, etc. are in serious trouble and need immediate aid), I feel like the idea with Kiva is to empower people by offering them a group loan, which they in turn pay back to you. It's also good because you can put in your money and instead of taking it back when the loan is paid you can continue to re-loan it. Your $25/$50/whatever can help indefinitely and in a sustainable manner. I have no problem with short term handouts for those who need them, but ultimately this can create a vicious cycle of dependency. This book details the failures of handouts and the possibilities of sustainable aid in Liberia and Sierra Leone pretty well.
  • Kiva?
  • my favorite thing about the Kiva site is that as soon as a new business is listed for a loan, people have swept in and sent the money (before the folks who run the site have had a chance to announce that there are new businesses to support).
  • rollbiz - I'm not trying to play down the worth of programs like Kiva - seems to me that their long-term value is, well, invaluable, but more appropriate fir more stable economies than are present in much of Africa. I would much prefer to help locals in a particular area progress if there weren't millions of people on the continent who just need food to survive during the next year or less. But, ok. Your advocacy leads to to give a few $$ to Kiva, and to let them recycle it.
  • On the other hand, the Kiva site has been so flooded with pledges that they have no startups listed for support. Guess I'll go with my original impulse.
  • Well that's encouraging. I thought to myself, "Cripes I have soem spare money,I'll loan some of it to a struggling Third World entrepeneur". Turns out that they have no clients at this time,as the loans are flooding in. Great link. I signed up to be notified, as new business start-ups are posted.
  • path, the president of OFI was my Human Origins professor last semester. I'm thinking about taking her Primate Behavior course. Small world.
  • Oh man, insolentchimp, I am supremely jealous that you even have the option of a class with Galdikas. Lucky! How is she as a lecturer?
  • Oh man, insolentchimp, I am supremely jealous that you even have the option of a class with Galdikas. Lucky! How is she as a lecturer? So, so, so very bad, tracicle. I really wish she weren't such a bad lecturer, I do like her books and her accomplishments in primatology. (Sorry about the slow reply, but I took Primate Behaviour with her last semester and I almost died from spontaneous self inflicted throat stabbing.) She can be highly entertaining with some of her random stories, however. Very random stories. I think she's succumbing to her years in the jungle.