At Astrid Solo Travel Advisor, we believe in experiencing life as a global citizen.
This means that we travel from place to place honoring the culture, enjoying experiences with those around us, and giving back when we can. We’re proud to support the efforts of Kiva, a nonprofit with a mission to create opportunity for people in poverty by forming connections with lenders around the world. When you give to Kiva, your money is actually not a donation, it’s a loan. The idea is that, by creating a network of individuals across the globe, micro-finance institutions (i.e. You, the lender) create entrepreneurial opportunity for those who need it most. For as little as $25, you can lend money to help someone in a less advantaged area of the world build a strong, sustainable business. This person can use your money to buy supplies, equipment or whatever else they might need to continue to thrive, and eventually repay the loan. Once your loan is repaid, you have the option to repeat the process all over again, and give that same $25 to someone else. To date, Kiva has lent $1.2 billion dollars with a 96.8% repayment rate.
“It’s More than Charity"
For us, deciding to give to Kiva is an easy decision. The real challenge is deciding who to work with. With Kiva, you can choose to donate to an individual and cause that speaks to you. Whether you choose to direct your money toward women, refugees, agriculture, education, underbanked areas, or conflict zones, you can dive into the real world needs and contribute to the efforts that empower individuals around the globe.
For example, featured in this photo is a woman, and real Kiva donation recipient, from Kyrgyzstan named Indira. She’s a mother of two and works as a seamstress. She’s been sewing hats and souvenir items since 2003. In addition, Indira prepares and sells traditional Kyrgyz dishes, but it is her sewing activity that constitutes the main source of income, 9,000 som monthly - roughly $123.53 USD - which, as a mother of two, is not much.
Being a seamstress with a secondary education level in Kyrgyzstan is something not easily achieved. A steady woman, Indira’s been in business for 12 years, making something out of nothing, and offering an item not terribly common in impoverished nations - toys. The love that goes into making such a product is admirable to say the least. Indira uses her Kiva loan to buy fabrics and supplies to further grow her business. She hopes to use the earnings to pay for her children’s education.
What it means to be a global citizen
Kiva is a fantastic organization that we at Astrid Solo Travel Advisor are proud to be a part of. Being a global citizen entails more than simply traveling the world. It means experiencing cultures distinct from your own, yet finding a human connection that unites us all. We all have dreams, and with Kiva, it is a humbling experience to feel as if you have played a part in helping hard-working people reach theirs. Head over to Kiva to learn how you can get involved with this fantastic organization.
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