As a photographer, I am always looking for ways to give back. Recently, I learned that two of my favorite photographers, Leah and Mark, have chosen to use a portion of the money from each wedding to fund Kiva microloans, and I thought “Yes! That’s it!”
The idea behind microloans is that in many developing nations, there are individuals or groups who want to start or expand a business, purchase a home or land, or further their education. These individuals may not be able to get a conventional loan for a variety of reasons. They may not have collateral to put up, or the amount that they need may be too small. Through microlending, individuals who are approved by the microlending organization can request small loans to improve their lives. A Kiva loan can change the lives of an entire family or town, and the changes can last for generations.
Even $100 can make a major change in an individual or family’s life. Through Kiva, lenders can choose who they wish to lend to based on a variety of characteristics. You can lend as little as $25, and almost all loans are paid back on time. At that point, you can choose to relend the money to another business owner if you wish.
With that in mind, I have chosen to lend 5% from each wedding to a Kiva business owner. So now, when you book me for a wedding, you are also helping an individual in a developing nation. And, because of the way Kiva works, I will be able to reinvest your money many times over. I am thrilled with this decision, and I can’t wait to start choosing who I am going to lend to!
Even if you don’t choose me as your wedding photographer, please consider investing in a business owner through Kiva.