Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day 2008, and the subject being discussed on blogs all over the world is poverty.  From the Blog Action Day website, here is an explanation of what they hope to do:

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Today thousands of bloggers will unite to discuss a single issue – poverty. We aim to raise awareness, initiate action and to shake the web!

I’m all for raising awareness, and especially initiating people to take action, so here goes.

Today I’d like to push for something that I believe can really help people who are living in poverty.  Something to help lift them out of the poverty they are living in, and give them a leg up and a way out.  What is that you ask?  Microloans through Kiva (or other microlending institution).

What are microloans?

Microloans, as the name suggests, are loans made in small chunks. They are generally made to entrepreneurs in developing countries so that they can buy materials and other necessities for running a business. It works something like this:

Fruteria de Bobo/Bobo's fruit place
Creative Commons License photo credit: Duquesa Mercedes

An entrepreneur in poverty goes to an organization like Kiva or Grameen Bank. They list how much money is needed to get a proposed business off the ground. Those of us in developed countries also visit the organization (usually via Web), and help finance the loan. If someone requests $1,000, but you can only spare $50, that is okay. You loan your $50 and others loan other amounts. You earn a small amount of interest on the loan, receiving money in your account as the entrepreneur makes payments.

Making these microloans can be really satisfying because not only are you making a small amount of income, but you’re also helping others to improve their lives.

My Challenge To You

My challenge to all the readers of this website today is to take action, to help fight poverty.  While we may never be able to eradicate poverty completely, we can still make a difference in the lives of someone who needs our help.  Make a commitment today to make a microloan, to sponsor a needy child or to volunteer at a local food shelf.   You can make a difference!  Remember, the Bible, and Jesus, command us to help the poor:

I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me! Matthew 25:40

What Are Others Saying?

Here are some other posts from people participating in Blog Action Day 2008. Enjoy!

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Last Edited: 15th October 2008

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Comments

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  1. says

    thanks for participating in blog action day, and for writing about microfinance. I am writing from Grameen Foundation, an organization that was founded because of the work that Muhammad Yunus did in Bangladesh with Grameen bank. We support microfinance institutions throughout the world and appreciate your support.

  2. says

    i love kiva. :) am currently unable to make a donation though, so i put up its banner on my blog, as well as that of freerice (rice donation via gameplay) and goodsearch (donation per search).

    saw this post via the front page of blog action day. it’s great that you’re participating. :)

    kouji haikus last blog post..haiku poem

  3. says

    HI all.
    KivaB4B is contributing $10,000 to support Blog Action Day. KivaB4B is a new partnership between Kiva and Advanta Bank that lets you double the loans you make through Kiva, up to $200/month. It’s a very cool program. Check it out at KivaB4B.org. There’s also a very unique affiliate program they offer to blogs and other sites. There’s a description on the blog, http://b4bcommunity.org/2008/08/the-kiva-affiliate-program-hel.html

    KivaB4B Team

  4. says

    I also took the time to digg your story because it was so concise and informative. I work with Survivor Corp and you have peaked my interest on more things I could be doing in my life that could help others. I will refer to links more additional info!

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