When people are empowered to help direct their own lives and ensure their own livelihoods, good things can happen. The PachaMama Project understands the importance of empowering those from disadvantaged backgrounds to help ensure social, environmental and economic sustainability. This is part of our values and an essential aspect in our ethical sourcing policy.
That is also one reason why we support Kiva. The PachaMama Project has started a team of lenders with Kiva*, for our customers and followers that would like to help make a difference to lives. Kiva is a not-for-profit microlending organisation that works with in-country partner institutions worldwide to help empower people and create opportunity with the aim of alleviating poverty.Our Kiva team particularly supports micro loans that have green or fair trade attributes or support water and sanitation projects.
The PachaMama Project Founder, Natasha, knows what a difference access to microfinance can make for families and communities. Natasha has family in the mountains of Kenya, where many communities are disadvantaged or impoverished. In these parts micro business provides an opportunity for families and individuals to help themselves, which in turn improves well-being and social cohesion and helps to ensure long-term sustainability of the community.
Micofinance can also have its cons. Kiva itself recognises that it is not a silver bullet However, when its well managed it can help create opportunity to alleviate poverty. We encourage lenders to take a good look at the borrowers profile before deciding to loan. Things to consider are the amount of the loan (think small loans with clear objectives), the length of repayment, the country, and the partner institution. The best field partners will offer access to training, relevant workshops and healthcare and offer reward repayment with a high interest savings account for the borrower once the loan is repaid. Borrowers in heavily under-developed or impoverished countries and communities with a lack of infrastructure and effective governance can result in high risk for the lender, but even worse circumstances for the borrower. We encourage lenders to read extensively before making a choice and read this article written by a Kiva Fellow on the pros and cons of microfinance.
Loan amounts start at $25 - that's the same as the price of afternoon tea!
The PachaMama Project Team