A few weeks ago, I did a donation to ASPCA and talked about it here. One of the other suggestions that I received during that time was to do a micro-loan via kiva.org. I first learned about micro-loans several years ago while sitting in a little Korean restaurant near Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. I was talking to a couple people who worked for a small non-profit that both evangelised micro-loans as well as managed some loans of their own but it wasn't until just I heard about Kiva that I realised how easy it could be.
Earlier this week I signed up at kiva.org and browsed through dozens of different loan opportunities on their web site. After a bit of looking, I found one that spoke to my love of Indian food while also helping out women in a very poor area of eastern India called Khurda, Odisha. Dutti, the recipient of the loan only has $25 more to go until she reaches her goal and gets the equipment she needs to expand her business. (Funny enough, I thought my donation was enough to finish it up, but apparently I mis-read the site).
I'm excited to see what happens with the loan and Dutti. Her success is now interwoven with my obsessive compulsive desire to watch her succeed. I look forward to seeing the loan amount fulfilled and dispersed as well as tracking her success over the course of the loan (21 months). I'm not exactly sure, but it looks like I can track as she pays back the loan each month. So exciting!!