Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Homeless Vets in Los Angeles - PATH

I make monthly automatic donations to PATH (People Assisting the Homeless). Today I made an additional donation to help homeless vets for a matching donation.

The link to donate is here.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Kiva loan to Ala-Buka village, Kyrgyzstan

Masturazhan is 57 and married with children. She has a high school education and works in animal husbandry as the primary source of income for her family, a business she started more than 30 years ago with the purchase of livestock for 2,000 KGS. Thanks to her hard work, she now has two milking cows, one horse and 25 sheep, as well as everything she needs to care for the animals. She also has a small parcel of land where she harvests corn, potatoes and carrots every year, both for her own use and for sale. Her total monthly income is 15,000 KGS. With the goal of further developing her business, Masturazhan has turned to Bai Tushum Bank for a loan to purchase sheep to increase the amount of livestock she has. She also plans to save toward renovating her home.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Kiva loan to Yen's group

Made a Kiva loan to Vietnam.

Yen is 42 years old and lives with her children and her husband. For the past eight years, Yen has been running a food stall from the front of her house to earn an income to support her family. 

Yen is the group leader of an eight-member loan group. The group members live in Ho Chi Minh City. In the picture, Yen is fifth from the left and wearing a red jacket. Each of the other group members are requesting loans to fund income-generating activities. 

Yen is requesting a loan to purchase a better quality and greater variety of products, such as food and beverages, to restock her stall. She hopes this will enable her to better meet the needs of her customers and attract additional ones. She also hopes that through her loan, she will be able to increase her income and save money for any future difficulties facing her family.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kiva loans to help the world

Another Kiva loan to a Massah.
Hello from Kandeh town, a community near the small and busy southern city of Bo. This is Massah, a local 38-year-old businesswoman who is married to a teacher. They have three children aged between 10 and 25. 

Massah was a housewife but then started her business so that she could support her husband in paying for her children’s school fees. Massah sells dried and smoked fish to her customers from a table near a busy market place. The fish is smoked on a grate whilst small pieces of wood burn underneath. Certain fish smoke better than others and Massah tries to run her business in tune with local demand and whatever fish is available from the ports. Massah works hard throughout the week. She says that everything is going well with her business. She is steadily getting more sales and meeting new customers. 

Massah would like to use this loan to purchase more fish to sell to her customers. She would like to say a big thank you to BRAC Sierra Leone and to the Kiva community for their financial support. The access to capital for her business helps Massah provide a comfortable life for her family.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kiva kiva kiva

Kiva loan to Massah

Massah is a hard-working local business woman from Kandeh, a community near the small and busy southern city of Bo.

Massah is a widow and has 7 children between the ages of 10 and 26. She also supports 2 other members of her extended family. 

Massah was a full time mother and housewife before she started her business but did so to ensure that her children could go to school and have a good life. She sells “cookery” beside a busy road. “Cookery” is a modest term for the wealth of spicy stews that are cooked by local people and served with rice. The basic ingredients of ‘cookery’ are palm oil (which is used as the base for the stews), rice, seasoning and chicken or fish. Massah also serves grilled chicken to her customers.

Massah works 6 days a week and has built her business so that she now has two assistants. Massah says that her business is going ‘OK’ and that she gets new customers on most days. She is proud that, as a result of her hard work, five of her children attend school.

Massah would like this loan so that she can buy more ingredients to make her dishes. In particular, she would like to buy rice, palm oil and bulk quantities of chicken. Massah is a BRAC Sierra Leone success story, as she previously borrowed and repaid 5 loans. 

Massah would like to thank BRAC Sierra Leone and the Kiva community for their support of her business.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kiva loan to Fatima

Made a Kiva loan to Fatima
Greetings from Kandeh town, a community near the small and busy southern city of Bo. 

This is Fatmata. Fatmata is 30 years old and is married to a local worker. They have two children aged 6 and 10. Both of the children are going to school. 
Fatmata was a housewife before she began her business selling cookery to passers-by. “Cookery” is a modest term for the wealth of spicy stews that are cooked by local people and served with rice. The building blocks of such stews are palm oil, cassava leaf, rice, seasoning and chicken or fish. Fatmata also sells cold drinks to her customers. 
Fatmata works throughout the week to serve her customers and would love to see her business grow. One of the challenges she faces is when sales slow down. Fatmata is well-known to BRAC Sierra Leone because she dutifully repaid two previous loans for her business. 
Fatmata would like to use this loan to buy more cold drinks and ingredients in bulk for her cookery business. She thanks BRAC Sierra Leone and Kiva for their support in her endeavors to make life more comfortable for her family.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kiva loan to Baby

Made a kiva loan to Baby.

Greetings from Kandeh town, a community near the small and busy southern city of Bo. 
This is Baby a 42-year-old businesswoman and mother. Baby got her name because she was the youngest in her family. Baby now has five children of her own aged between 6 and 21. 
Baby has always been involved in trade and did not finish her schooling. Because of this, it was a natural progression for her to set up a small business independent from her parents when she grew up. Baby has a table at a busy marketplace from which she sells onions, palm oil, rice, sugar, gari, fish, and other ingredients bought by her customers to make local spicy stews such as green, cassava leaf, groundnut soup, and pepper soup. 
Baby works hard for six days each week and has built her business so she now sometimes hires two extra people to help her. She says her business is running smoothly, and she likes when she sells to new customers for the first time. 
Baby would like to use this loan to buy more cooking supplies to sell to her customers.
Baby is very well regarded by BRAC Sierra Leone, having previously repaid five loans for her business. She thanks BRAC Sierra Leone and Kiva sincerely for their financial support which has really helped her make family life more comfortable.

Friday, April 11, 2014


I smiled and said hi to a lot of people in the grocery store today.  The funny thing about people is that if you say hi and greet them first they almost always great you back and exchange pleasantries.  I live in a world where strangers always talk to each other because I make sure it happens, if they don't say hi first I do. I probably often do, I don't keep score.

I talk to people in public all the time. It does good. It reminds people that we are all in community, we are not just individuals going about our days business.

Connecting is good.

Monday, April 07, 2014

kiva loans

Made a whole lot of kiva loans today, to use up some of my kiva credit. It got over $400 'cause I have been travelling and busy. Went to Italy, it was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Kiva loan to Suriname

Made a kiva loan today to a new country,



Mahinder is 30 years old and lives with his wife and two school-aged children. Since he turned 17, after leaving school, he has been working in agriculture. He also works as a field worker at a banana company. With this income he provides for his family. Mahinder is planting only on rented plots and wants to have his own plots. With his business skills, he can save for his own plots. He does business with Seva MFI, because he had no capital to do business with other financial institutions. Mahinder asks Seva MFI for a loan of SRD 10,000 to buy fertilizer and pesticides for his rice cultivation.

Additional Information

More information about this loan

This loan is part of Seva's effort to reach marginalized rice farmers who are excluded from Suriname's traditional banking system. This type of loan is designed to help agricultural entrepreneurs become self sustainable. This is especially important in Suriname, where microfinance is limited. These loans provide farmers with the opportunity to thrive in a country where rural and agricultural businesses are considered to be too risky for commercial loans.