Monday, March 31, 2008

kiva loan

Made a Kiva loan to Isidoro Gonzalez Gutierrez.

Isidoro is 56 and has lived in the Villa Reconciliacion neighborhood with his wife and two children for many years. His wife started a business out of their home selling Fritanga, which is a kind of fried food, such as meat, plantains, etc. Ten years ago, using his own money, he bought a car to use as a taxi, and together, these two businesses have allowed the couple to provide for the family. They have been able to improve their family's lives and provide a pleasant home. The loan Isidoro is requesting will be used to close off the sides of their house and guarantee his family's safety. There is crime in their neighborhood, and as the head of the family, he is worried about making sure that thieves can't get into the house to rob or injure his family.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Obama and Kiva

Yesterday I went to a weekly Obama meeting. I set them up a few weeks ago at a local cafe because I was getting lots of new people contacting me and asking how they can help. I also set up weekly Thursday evening meetings and we had a great turn out at our first one this week. Its incredible to see people still wanting to get involved, months after our primary. We need to keep organizing, not just to win the general election but also to help run the country. Obama told us this over a year ago, and we rose to the challenge.

When I first got involved in the campaign I had no idea how much effort it would take. I have been meeting at least weekly since he announced in February 2007. I've also been doing a lot of work from home, processing volunteers (helped with CA, TX, and now PA), making phone calls, blogging, and more. I am looking forward to the election being over and getting more of my life back. Because it seems, politics takes all the time you have. And there is an urgent need to do everything ASAP.

I made a KIVA loan to Kenya today, the country of Obama's father. The loan is to Dr. Andrew Otieno for drugs for his clinic. He has had a few other KIVA loans before.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Honduran Girls

I got pictures today of the two young women I am sponsoring through the Honduran Girls Education Project.
Both these girls are entering University this year, which is an incredible accomplishment. The project was originally designed to get them past grade 4.

If you want to see a high return on your sponsorship, consider sponsoring a girl in Honduras.

Kiva loans

Made a loan this morning to Zarifa Agammadova in Khachmaz town, Azerbaijan. She wants capital for inventory. not sure what she sells, but I love the carpets in the picture.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I've been helping change the world on facebook (along with getting back in touch with people from the past; old friends, schoolmates, crushes and even an old babysitter).

On facebook you can promote specific charities by joining groups and have pages (Kiva has a page!), and there are applications that allow you to 'click' for non-profits. For example, The Hunger Site has an app. you can put on your facebook page. You can help save the rainforest with 'Lil Green Patch'.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Magazines for the Vets & Kiva

I brought old magazines to the VA hospital today, dropped them off at the volunteer office.

I also made a Kiva loan to the Huklla Llamkasun Group in Peru.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Helping out a communal bank in Peru

Made a Kiva loan today to a group in Peru (with a Julia).

The Communal Bank Paycasa is a bank that was established approximately 7 years ago. At the present time it has 15 cycles and 21 members. The members of the communal bank are from the Pacaycasa district , which is located 30 minutes away from the city of Ayacucho. The members of the bank note that thanks to this institution they have learned to save, to be responsible and punctual.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Guatemalan loan from Kiva

Made a loan to a Group in Guatemala, the "Chaquijya Central" who are taking out their second loan.

Ten of the women are skilled in beading; crafting beautiful bracelets, necklaces, and earrings from tiny translucent beads, and selling them in the streets of nearby tourist towns, as well as through orders that friends and neighbors place. They will invest their loans in beads and string, which they purchase from a market in Sololá. Olga Tunay says that for the first time, with the help of their previous loan, they were able to buy beads in bulk, which drastically reduced the cost, as well as the number of trips they must make to the market.

Two women are skilled weavers, producing "huipiles" (the traditional Mayan blouse) and skirts like the ones in the picture. They will invest their loan in thread to weave these intricate clothes. A single huipil can take up to three months to make, and after an initial investment of $30-$50, it can be sold for up to $200. These huipiles represent a woman's home town, her marital status, and other interests and beliefs.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Julia in Peru

I participated in a Kiva loan to Julia Alejandra Retamozo Rivera in Peru. Julia is a single mother, 38 years old, with 2 children. She sells white stone sculptures, which she arranges to be made by craftspeople in Ayachuco city and sells wholesale in Lima city.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tree People

I renewed my membership in TREEPEOPLE today. I like to help them plant trees. Its fun.

TreePeople is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the Los Angeles area for over three decades. Simply put, our work is about helping nature heal our cities. We offer sustainable solutions to urban ecosystem problems, focusing on three areas:

1. Training and supporting communities to plant and care for trees
2. Educating school children and adults about the environment
3. Working with government agencies on critical water issues

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Peru & Kiva

Zenaida, Rita and Alberta are members of the "Amauta Huamanga Community Bank" since 4, 4, and 8 months, respectively.

Zenaida is 44 years old; she is married and has 7 children. She is a street vendor and sells different types of products depending on seasonal demand. For instance, she sells school supplies during the school year and toys during Christmas.

Rital is 23 years old; she is married and has 3 children. Rita sells sandals at a shop, in the Grau market. She buys the sandals in the city of Lima and transports them to Ayacucho.

Alberta is 41 years old; she lives together with her couple and has 2 children. Alberta sells ceviche (form of citrus marinated seafood salad) but would like to stop this activity in order to sell clothes like school uniforms.

Zenaida, Rita and Alberta are asking for loans of 1000 soles (360USD) each. They will use them to buy pencils, colored pencils, crayons, sandals and uniforms.

Zeneida dreams of having her own stand to sell her products. Rita would like to study a profession and expand her business and Alberta would like to have a grocery shop.

Monday, March 17, 2008

End Breast Cancer

A few days ago I sponsored a friend who is walking in the Weekend to end breast cancer.

In her words..

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer is a two-day, 60-kilometre walk through the neighbourhoods of Montreal.
We have all unfortunately been or will be touched in one way or another by cancer.
No one is immune...yet.
Prevention is one way to help reduce risks of developing any illness, but it is not a guaranteed way of avoiding it either.
All we can do is our best within each of our own personal limitations.
This event is my own personal way to challenge myself, to be an example of strength and hope for my beloved children, to heal my own "scars" while reducing my own risks of illness, to contribute toward reducing the risks of illness for others, to provide assistance toward the quest to fight cancer and of course in memory of my relatives and friends who have been victims of cancer.
I thank you all deeply from within my heart for all your support and encouragement.
May God continue to Bless us all.
Proceeds benefit the Jewish General Hospital, funding important breast cancer research, education, services and care. Charitable income tax receipts will be provided.

My Children are my Inspiration for the Future

Julia in Mexico

I made a Kiva loan to a group in Mexico that contained a Julia, the Lux 4 group.

It seems Julia sells shoes by catalog. What fun!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Honduran Girls Education Project

I got a very encouraging update from the Honduran Girl's Education Project.The project is located in the Department of Valle in Honduras that is a very arid and impoverished area. The goal of the project are to encourage young girls to go beyond grade 3 education and finish high school. The pilot project was started in 1997 and has become more successful than anticipated.

This is proving to be a MOST INTERESTING PILOT PROJECT! How far will these young women go? They began to be inspired at a time in their lives when they were most impressionable. All the years of encouragement and support have nurtured them to be “unusual”. How can we not try to support them as they seek their goals to help create change that would help to improve lives. Nine, that we know of so far, are now enrolled in university courses and many more have the desire.

This project is run on a very small scale, and I am in personal contact with the main organizer, Carolyn Cruikshank . This year I am sponsoring a university student, and I enclose an additional amount for discretionary funds, because there are always unexpected expenses. I think its a great project that is really helping with very limit resources.

Please consider sponsoring a girl.

It has been documented many times over in international development literature that one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty is to empower the women of any developing country. If women can obtain more education, avoid early pregnancies and the subsequent burden of overly large families, and learn a skill to enable them to earn more money, then the whole country benefits because a significant positive change will have taken place in the social structure. Worldwide, the mean educational achievement of girls is 40% below that of boys, yet as women, they are the primary educators of the next generation. Research shows that educating girls yields the highest rate of return compared to any other investment in human development.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kiva loans to Julia's

Found two Julias to lend to today, Juliana Dzikumu is a fishmonger in Cape Coast, Ghana, and there is a Julia in the Adela Calderon Rodriguez's Group ( Julia Cabezas Huaman) from Peru.

I do think this is a shallow reason for choosing loans, but I also feel that all Kiva recipients are worthy, and its more fun for me than randomly selecting (which I also do sometimes).

Volunteer Week

In case you haven't heard the news, National Volunteer Week in 2008 is coming up on April 27-May 3.

Every single person I know who volunteers ends up having a fantastic time and wants to do it again. Most people are just amazed at how little they can do that means so much to so many people.

Check out Volunteer Match for things you can do in your local area, and they even have some online ways that you can help. Participate. It will do you and the world some good.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jewlery from NOVICA through igive & the Kiva Shopping Club

Its hard to think of changing the world by buying jewelry, but purchasing through NOVICA promotes artisans from around the world getting paid a fair price. And they have beautiful things. I bought two necklaced, both silver and amythest. I bought the one pictured above because it looked like one my avatar wears in second life.

Since I am a member of and signed up for the kiva shopping club, my purchases also helped Kiva loans. I have the toolbar set up so when I buy from an igive store my purchase are automatically recorded.

Julia loans at Kiva

I funded two Julia's today - Julia Ticona Bautista from La Paz, Bolivia and Julia Margarita Reyes in the Doña Ana community of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Whole Planet Foundation

I donated to the Whole Planet Foundation today when I was checking out of Whole Foods Market. My small donation didn't add much to my bill, but it looks like our collective donations have made over $4 million in loans. Its amazing what we can do when we all add a bit.

Whole Planet Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization established by Whole Foods Market, provides grants to microfinance institutions in Latin America, Africa and Asia who in turn develop and offer microenterprise loan programs, training and other financial services to the self-employed poor.

Kiva in Peru

I loaned money to Francisca Ricra in Peru to help her with her business. She dreams of owing a mini-mart some day.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Group loans through Kiva

I lent to to large groups today through Kiva, to the BENDECIDAS 2 Group in Mexico for their crafts, and to the mistad Group in Peru.

Fair Trade Coffee Subscription

Just want to update about the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie, a great place to get fair trade coffee delivered right to your door.

The roasteris is located in Washington, and they believe that the small act of buying coffee beans can be part of the giant act of positive change in the world.

Their level of service is very impressive. At the beginning of my subscription I didn't order enough and ran out a few times, and they quickly responded and gave me rush service. One time I even got a free pound.

So this company is HIGHLY recommended

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Helping Julica, Peru

I made a loan to Lucía Sucasaca Roque. She moved to Julica and has opened a grocery store, and now wants to expand to include fruits and vegetables. I'm sure this loan will have a big impact on her business, as well as on the local community.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

kiva loans

Made three new Kiva loans today, using Kiva credits from past lenders.

Antoinette Yeye in Cotonou, Benin wants a loan to increase her restaurant business, she makes ready-made meals.

The Ternura Group is in Ayacucho, Peru and is a group of women (one called Julia) who want money for various enterprises. Since they all guarantee each other, I can be assured the money will get paid back.

The last loan I made was to Mexico, I thought about the Agents of Change and how I am trying to keep a significant part of my portfolio in Mexican loans 'cause they are close. So I chose a loan that was almost funded, to Cleotilde De La Rosa Mendoza for her concrete fence.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Kiva & Obama

I ran another Obama phone bank today for 5 hours, trained many people and we made many phone calls. The campaign passed its million phone call goal, and its million volunteer supporter goal. I no longer feel so alone :}

I made a Kiva loan, thanks to Kay. Emilia Condori Cheje in Peru wanted money to expand her clothing

Saturday, March 01, 2008

kiva loans

I got a few loans redeemed so reinvested in our world.
I chose the first one because it was the first I saw and noone else had bid yet. Its to Mursal, who wants to be able to purchase the electrical supplies he uses himself and charge the home owner, rather than have them buy it. Sounds like good business. I must say I find it strange to see how the adds justify why he wants more money. Eg.
Mursal, the father of a girl, works as an electrician (home installation technician). Through his work he has been able to support his wife and child. Nonetheless, he wants to increase his earnings.

Here in North America its the norm to want to make more money, and its totally ok to want a better life.

I also made a loan to a women's group in Uganda. It was one of the oldest loans. I wish them all success.

I'm off to run a Get Out the Vote party here in Pasadena for OBAMA. If anyone wants to make phone calls to Texas today, come on by!