Reducing Poverty

Posted on October 15, 2008  Comments (6)

photo of Rita Bashnet

Today is blog action day, which this year is focused on poverty. We have highlighted various uses of appropriate technology, many of which help those in poverty improve their lives. Such as: Water Pump Merry-go-Round and Smokeless Stove Uses 80% Less Fuel.

I am also very interested in using micro loans to help entrepreneur improve their lives – I have written about Kiva before. Kiva fellows are funded by Kiva (fellows are unpaid) to go to spend time in the countries Kiva facilitates loans for working with the local partners. This post is about Rita Bashnet (in photo) an entrepreneur from Nepal:

Field visits are by far the best part about being a Kiva Fellow. You’re given the opportunity to hop on a motorbike, hike up a village trail, and actually see the impact of a Kiva loan firsthand.

Five years ago, Ms. Rita took her first loan of NRs. 10,000 (USD $150) and purchased some extra seed and fertilizer in the hopes of expanding her small vegetable patch. With the profits from this initial investment and a second loan from Patan Business and Professional Women (they offer a graduated loan program), she then purchased her first dairy cow.

After hearing about a program that subsidized the installation of methane gas storage tanks, Ms. Rita took another loan and applied for the program. With this new system, she is now able to capture the valuable gas released from her cow’s waste in a simple controlled-release storage tank. Today she no longer purchases gas from the city and can even sell some during times of shortage.

Ms. Rita exemplifies the potential of microfinance. A combination of access to capital and strategic investment has allowed her and her family to drastically improve their economic situation in a short five years.

Great story, and exactly my hope for using capitalism to improve the standard of living for people around the globe.

If you haven’t loaned money through Kiva, please consider it now. If you do (or already have a Kiva page), send me your Kiva lender link and I will add it to Curious Cat Kivans. I would love to add more of our readers to that page.

Related: Using Capitalism to Make a Better WorldAppropriate TechnologyFixing the World on $2 a DayTrickle Up

6 Responses to “Reducing Poverty”

  1. kouji
    October 15th, 2008 @ 3:34 pm

    i love kiva. 🙂 am currently unable to make a donation though, so i put up its banner on my blog, as well as that of freerice (rice donation via gameplay) and goodsearch (donation per search).

    it’s great that you’re participating in blog action day. 🙂

  2. Curious Cat Science Blog » Thanksgiving, Appropriately
    November 27th, 2008 @ 11:55 am

    “I also save every month,” says Frew, who has over $40 stored in a cooperative savings fund. The capital he has saved with other people in his group is used to provide loans to group members at a low interest rate.

  3. Jae Jun
    December 1st, 2008 @ 3:40 am

    If we all just gave up a $1 a day and made a donation it would help so many people.
    I’m involved with a sponsoring program call Compassion and always am feel blessed that I am living the way I do.

  4. Jay Neely
    February 24th, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

    John, what do you think of events like Twestival, and other new media generated crowdsourced fundraisers? Helpful, obviously, but on par with Kiva?

  5. Anonymous
    June 13th, 2009 @ 5:34 am

    I totally agree with Jae Jun’s word that if we all just gave up a $1 a day and made a donation it would help so many people.You are doing a great job Jae Jun.Thanks.Thanks for sharing curiouscat.

  6. Anonymous
    August 12th, 2010 @ 3:02 am

    Giving a donation can really help many people. If all of us will give donations, poverty can be solved.

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