The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

I helped Grace’s business! UPDATE

with 6 comments

Comité Las AmigasUPDATE: I had the privilege of temporarily sharing fifty bucks with Grace Anuafule in west Africa, and published the post below (in July) about how easy and fun it was to start the process thru Kiva. Just two weeks ago, I received notice that Grace has completely repaid my small part and that of the others who, combined, provided an $800 loan. Ta-da! It worked! What a privilege!

And my fifty has gone on another trip now, this time to a group of women with clothing and food businesses in Paraguay (at right). And a friend of mine just began this week, too, with a couple of loans to people in Peru.

Yahoo. Surely there’s more cash around here somewhere. Hey—you wanna try it, too? Click on Kiva to find out how.

July, ’07:  This is Grace. She stands in her business, Grace Store in west Africa, where she sells food and kitchen equipment. [It’s a great photo – click it for a version that will show you much more.]I am proud to say that I have had a teeny-tiny part in the success of the Grace Store. Like so:Grace recently saw an opportunity to expand her business. She needed $800 to do it.

I heard about Kiva. Kiva connects individuals who want to loan small amounts of money with people who need small loans to begin or develop businesses that enable them to provide for themselves. The money is distributed by an on-site organization that teaches business skills and peer accountability.

I had fifty bucks that I wasn’t expecting. I read Grace’s story on Kiva, and put the fifty in Grace’s Kiva account. Others did likewise. The goal was reached, the $800 loan disbursed, and Grace has made the first two $100 re-payments. (Actually, I didn’t read the fine print. I was so glad to be getting something directly to a person, rather than an organization, that I thought I was giving the $50. Turns out, it’s a loan, and I get it back!) People can loan as little as $25. I paid mine through an Ebay/PayPal account.

You can read about Grace, the people who participated in the loan, and a lot of other men and women pulling themselves out of poverty in many parts of the world, here.

Way to go, Grace – I don’t know if you’ll ever get to read this, but your store is beautiful!

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Written by Monte

January 30, 2008 at 9:00 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Erin’s brother and sister in law gave them and everyone else in their family gift certificates to Kiva for Christmas this year.

    Monte Says: I’ve thought of that – it is a pleasant thing to do! Talked to Ben tonight, told him hi from you.


    February 1, 2008 at 8:47 pm

  2. Dear Karen, I would never complain to have “enemies” such as Monte and yourself :)


    July 28, 2007 at 2:33 pm

  3. WOW – I’m a little late but Kiva sounds like such a neat organization…

    And I love that idea you stated Monte about the meaningfulness and necessity of small actions in order for there to be a possibility of larger actions…

    And you are SO RIGHT – Homeyra does an awesome job bringing out the “recognizable humanity” (GREAT PHRASE) in our “enemies”…a friend of mine says that the only reason we have enemies to start with is because we have, in our minds, removed the humanity from a person/people. Gotta love Homeyra!!! :)

    Monte says: Yep, I agree! Homeyra is like Jesus – seeing people where others see only issues. Thanks!


    July 26, 2007 at 2:43 pm

  4. I had seen your first post about this organization, and glad to see the follow up.
    I have faith in small actions.

    Hello Homeyra, so good to “hear” from you. Indeed, sometimes I think small actions are the only ones that lastingly bring good, and that large actions are only possible on the bedrock of small ones. Perhaps the history of the world is created by people like you and others who patiently portray the recognizable humanity of people who’ve been unfairly labeled enemies. Thank you! -Monte


    July 6, 2007 at 3:04 pm

  5. Monte, what a terrific initiative and an excellent post. I know a little about micro-finance but I hadn’t heard of web-based, citizen-to-citizen programs, as it were, and am most heartened. This is in the best spirit of helping people help themselves, according them the dignity and creative agency that is their birthright, and for which they only require a leg up. All for a small sum that is equivalent to the price of a CD. Marvellous.

    Ann: Thanks! And yes, isn’t it marvelous? It strikes me as one of the ways (correct me if I’m wrong here) that the web has opened up a new geography. An African touches an Iowan – the Iowan reciprocates. I can think of no comparable empowerment of worldwide community in history. Likewise, how naj and Homeyra have made Iran close and human! The world is not yet “flat” (to use Friedman’s overstatement), but the ability to act certainly circumvents the powerful as never before. Cheers! Monte


    July 5, 2007 at 5:56 am

  6. Yeah, I’ve done the same through Kiva. It’s just so cool to be able to give such a small amount of money for us, to people we will likely never meet, and have a real positive effect. Micro loans are a brilliant invention!

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

    Monte says: You’re a fellow Kivite! Isn’t it just amazing to take some small thing and reach across the world with it! I love it. Bypass the powerful! Monte


    July 4, 2007 at 3:06 pm

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