While doing some research on Mohammed Unis and microfinance (meaning, I took two seconds and did a Google search- I love how “research” has become “bare-minimum investigation”), I stumbled across Kiva.Org:
Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.
The people you see on Kiva’s site are real individuals in need of funding – not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs’ profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.
How awesome is that?
I truly wish there was a domestic version of this, something where I could be assured that my money was going to Katrina victims directly, or a sponsorship for students in impoverished US cities (I’m sure there’s a ton of people in Detroit right now that could use it).
If Kenwoode ever goes on to make any money, Kiva will be my charity of choice. And if Carl was any type of empathetic human being, he’ll join me. But I highly doubt it. ‘Cause he’s a jerk, you see.