The Microfinance Committee lends funds to entrepreneurs in developing nations through a web-based organization called KIVA. On their website, the founders of KIVA describe the service as, “the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.” Its mission is “to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.”
The loans made through KIVA are uniquely risk-free and transparent. We can track exactly who receives our loans, what they are doing with the funding, and when they pay it back. The KIVA website deducts no fees so all loans have 100% pass-through to recipients, whose repayment rates are exceptionally high, averaging 98%.
You can join the UU Westport KIVA lending team by going to the website: kiva.org. Once you are on the site, select the “Community” box then enter “Westport” in the box entitled “Search for a lending team”. The site will then prompt you to request to join the “KIVA/Social Justice Council–Unitarian Church in Westport CT”. From there, you can make donations as part of our team. Alternatively, you can make funds available to the committee to lend for you. You may also want to join the KIVA Committee, which meets on the first Tuesday each month, and help us raise and distribute funds.