Friday, August 22, 2008

Kiva: the Volver a Empezar Group

Kiva is microfinance, an easy way to lend directly to the world's poor and help them improve their lives. Among the many choices, I'm biased towards textiles and women, so my latest loan is to this group in Bolivia. Their name seems to translate generally as "start again". I'm aware of all the basic services I take for granted and they do not. Reading the stories of Kiva's borrowers is such a fascinating window into other people's worlds and lives.
About the Volver a Empezar group:
The center of Alto Lima is located in the Ballivian zone in the city of El Alto which is where the "Volver a Empezar" Association is found. They work with great responsibility with their payments and internal activities. Within the group, many of the women lack basic services in their homes. For example, doña Verni cannot rely on potable water that should be supplied by public water basins. What's more, like many others, she cannot rely on gas services and must buy gas in tanks. Lamentably, she lives in a zone where distributors of these tanks do not pass very frequently which is why she has to go to busy streets in the hopes that one of these trucks will pass by. She longs to be able to rely on these services in her home. The main activity of this group is the weaving of sweaters, scarves, and other pieces of clothing, in Alpaca wool that they later sell in the "16 de julio" market in the city of El Alto. Currently, they want to be able to increase their production so that they can sell their products to handicraft shops. It is for this that they need more capital for the acquisition of raw materials to make their sweaters. They have the security of increasing their income, in this manner they will also be able to improve the quality of life for their families.
Who are they?
Bertha Blanco, Reyna Apaza, Karen Quispe, Reynaldo Sinka, Martha Arroba, Emiliana Ramirez, Julia Ronquilla (not pictured), Gregoria Cora, Feliza Capajaña, Tomasa Calle (not pictured), Julia Quispe (not pictured), Lucia Mayta, Feliza Tola, Veneranda Sinka, Hilaria Mamani, Cristina Mayta, Nelly Villca.
You can lend as little as $US25. And, when it's paid back, you can lend it again to another Kiva borrower - it's a loan, not a donation. This group still needs several thousand dollars, so why not support them?
Of my earlier loans:

There's a Kiva link over in the sidebar with another business if you'd like to support a different one.

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