How one Person can Change the World… YES You!

“No man is an Island , entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were;
any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”
- John Donne
A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway
My brother KC first introduced me to this excerpt from A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway. I’m not ashamed to admit that it took some explanation and time for its meaning to truly sink in but the older I get the more and more I can apply it to life. “No man is an Island” none of us is free of another, “Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee” when their is pain and injustice against another it is also against you.
This week on the 2012 Indie Travel Challenge they are discussing how individuals give back.

(click on ITC logo for more information on the 2012 Challenge)

It’s a daunting task to want to make a difference as one person.

As an individual its difficult to know how you can help elevate poverty, create opportunities, support education and strengthen weak economies. Those of you who read my blog regularly already know Kiva is my favorite non-profit organization, providing a world-wide network of micro-finance institutions that lets individuals donate as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.

Each month I donate $25 to an individual or group and as re-payments are made I re-lend those payments to new loans, in a sense, recycling opportunity. I also recently started my own lending team, Heathers Harmony, if you’re interested in becoming a Kiva lender I’d consider it an honor to have as a member on our team! To learn more about Kiva and Heathers Harmony’s involvement please check out my previous posts here.

Aprils Kiva loan is going to Florence who lives in Rwanda, I typically prefer to loan to women I guess its a solidarity thing. I also have a deep connection to Rwanda and its past tragedies which are the subject of my senior thesis.

Kiva is offering a limited amount of free loans for first time lenders if you are interested in creating your own micro-loan you may go here.

I asked one of Heather’s Harmony team members, Rachel, to share her thoughts on Kiva.

“KIVA is an amazing organization that I am proud to be a part of. With over $292 million in loans funded since 2005, it gives people in developing countries the opportunity to better their lives. I love that it is a lending program, rather than a charity – a loan promotes dignity and responsibility. I have made just three loans so far, but intend to bump that total up to 20 by the end of 2012. $25 isn’t a lot of money out of my pocket (and usually it isn’t even that much at a time because the repayment from previous loans offsets it a bit), but to somebody else, it could be life changing.”

Have you heard of Kiva or had any experiences with this amazing organization before?

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