July Kiva Loan

The idea.

Back in January, my book club read Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by husband and wife team Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

photo from amazon

The book opened my eyes to the challenges many women face: sex trafficking, gender based violence, and maternal health issues. It also inspired me. Women (and men) taking a stand, sharing their stories in hopes of making a difference. I was moved to action when I read Jill’s plan to provide a monthly microfinance loan through Kiva.

Not sure what mircrofinance loans are? Check out this short video.


The plan.

Once a month, lend money to a Kiva borrower. The borrowers repay me through Kiva and then I can withdraw or reinvest my money.

My first loan.

For July, I chose the Pabaquit Group from Guatemala. Here’s a little about them:

photo from kiva profile page

Mr. Ricardo is married, 37 years old, completed five years of primary school, and has eight children, one of which is school. He works in trade, selling clothing and other merchandise. He started this business as an itinerant vendor, and today, has 15 years of experience. He counts on the support of his wife, who takes care of the domestic tasks.

He decided to organize a group to request a loan that will help him to buy merchandise like socks, scarves, sweaters, jackets, pants, hats, etc. The rest of the group members work in various activities, such as trade and animal husbandry. Ricardo hopes to see his business with its own premises someday.

Guatemala holds a special place in my heart as one of my first international experiences. The perfect place to start!

The Important Book

Every year, I read The Important Book, by Margaret Wise Brown to my students.

The text structure and the rhythm of the words capture their attention. A snippet:

The important thing

about the sky is that it is always

there. It’s true that it is blue,

and high, and full of clouds,

and made of air.

But the important thing about

the sky is that it is always there.

Throughout the year, when they are focused on a small detail of the school day, I often refocus their attention with the phrase, “The important thing right now is…(washing our hands, reading, etc.).”

We all need reminders of the important things. This blog is my reminder.