Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A little goal goes a long way

15. Make a donation to a worthy cause.

This was a goal that I felt would keep me in touch with wider humanity. I went into it thinking I would find an Australian cause, but then remembered a world-wide scheme I'd discussed with a work supervisor 18 months ago. She told me about Kiva and how it empowered people in other countries, giving them an opportunity to enhance their lives and make a better future for themselves. Basically, you give a small loan to a person to help them with a project. They pay it back.

Okay, I thought. Simple.

But is it really a donation? After all, if I'm getting the money back, how is that of real benefit to anyone but me?

Well, this is where I thought it would be better than a donation. I make the initial payment. The payment is repaid. I then pay that donation forward to the next person. Rather than being a one-stop process, it keeps on giving down the line.

But what if they don't pay it back? Ah, here's the beauty of it. I still get the money back because I'm not actually giving the donation to the person, I'm giving it to a loan group who have already provided the money. If the recipient doesn't pay it back, the loan company does, just in order to keep their high rating. I can't lose, which means I'm always in a position to pay it forward (I do also make a small donation of $3 for admin costs to Kiva so there is some money I'm never seeing again.)

I have chosen on this occasion to focus on education, particularly educating women in the Middle East. The woman I have chosen lives in Jordan and is attending college. Due to the financial crisis her parents are unable to fund her school fees so they've obtained a loan to cover the costs. I think parents who want to help their daughters gain higher education should be assisted, so this, for me, qualifies as a worthy cause. I gave US$25 donation (as I said, small in the grand scheme of things) plus the $3 to Kiva.

Why yes, I do feel as if I've done my bit to benefit humanity.

Have a great day.

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