04 October 2011

Genealogists, Traditions and Kiva

There have been exciting developments since last week, when I wrote about continuing my father's tradition of setting aside a small sum of money (we called it his 'Do Good Money') for short-term loans to those in need. Pamela said it would be lovely if this became a tradition for other families - and (to my delight) that has already begun!

My family, friends and colleagues (and their family, friends and colleagues) are following my father's example, but with a modern twist. It works like this:

From the Web site of the non-profit organisation Kiva, you choose a borrower whom you would like to help. You make a loan of just $25, using PayPal's secure service to pay by credit or debit card or from a bank account. When the loan is paid back, you can either withdraw your money or lend again. It's a simple and sustainable way of helping someone to support their family and overcome poverty.

Two of my friends have been doing this for years, so I know Kiva is reputable. It is also a lot of fun! I really enjoy the process of choosing a borrower. For each individual or group there is a photograph, some biographical data, an explanation of how the loan will be used, and information about the country. (This would be an interesting way for children to learn about other cultures, geography etc.)

To maximise the fun and motivation, people with a common interest often form a team (but you can remain anonymous if you wish). Our team is called 'Genealogists for Families', but everyone is welcome - genealogists, family and friends, and anyone who believes that our small loans can make a big difference to those who are less fortunate. Our motto is, 'We loan because we care about families (past, present and future).'

It's very easy:
  1. Register with Kiva and join the team.

  2. Make a loan. If you do not have a spare $25 yet, join now and when you do make a loan it will be automatically linked to the team's efforts.

  3. To publicise your Web site or online family tree, enter its address in 'My Website' on your Kiva Lender Page.
As I write this, our 'Genealogists for Families' team page shows that we are currently helping sixteen small businesses in low income areas: farming in Peru; poultry in Azerbaijan and Zimbabwe; fishing and livestock (cattle, pigs etc) in Mongolia, the Philippines and Tajikistan; arts and crafts in El Salvador; food sales in Honduras; manufacturing in Nicaragua; sewing in Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru and Tajikistan; tailoring in Tanzania; and an Internet cafe in Bolivia.

Join the 'Genealogists for Families' project and be part of the growing team of individuals who make a difference by helping families now and in the future!


  1. This is now an international project. Already we have team members in Australia, the USA and Canada, and we look forward to seeing other countries represented soon. Joan Miller has shared her thoughts on the project in her Luxegen Genealogy and Family History blog.

  2. Hi Judy
    What a great idea!! It's great to see such a diverse group of people being helped!

    Kylie :-)

  3. Thanks Kylie. Since Geneabloggers and Dick Eastman highlighted the 'Genealogists for Families' project, the team has grown very rapidly. I enjoy reading about my fellow team members and the borrowers they choose.


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