52 Weeks 52 Tests – Week 14 – Lending Money to Complete Strangers

Truth be told, I did not do anything new last week. I sort of failed at sustaining the rhythm of my  experimentation challenge. I was expecting a delivery of some items who will keep me busy test wise. But delivery did not come. I had planned to go try an activity on  Sunday, but I was too hungover to leave home. Life happens.
But that’s the good life, I can’t complain.
So instead of doing something new, well, I did it again.
I put some of my money in the hands of complete strangers.



Never seen them, never heard of them before, but we came across each other online. I gave my credit card information and my money was split and sent over towards different destinations: Cambodia, Kenya, Indonesia, Philippines…  They say they will pay me back.
How do I know this ? Because there are teams of professionals on the ground who take care of this. Without beating these strangers up, that is.
Sounds crazy, right?
Well, it’s not. It is called Kiva, and it is a crowdfinancing platform geared towards emerging countries. Kiva puts in relation lenders from all around the world to borrowers with lesser income around the world, in order to help the latter complete pragmatic, down-to-earth projects at a human scale that will move their lives forward.
Instead of sitting on your account and being leveraged by the bank to gamble risky FX swaps trades on the global derivative markets, your hard earned money can help fund people with needs that are more pressing than yours. You can contribute to farming, education, sanitation, commerce, worldwide. Your 25 or 50$ loan, added to that of thousands of other lenders can make a lasting change in people’s lives, and the beautiful Kiva platform allows just that.
All you have to do is go to www.kiva.org and create an account.
Select the people and the projects you want to lend your money too, and checkout.
Soon enough, you will receive emails confirming that your loan is getting repaid, dollar by dollar, every week.
Kiva is one of these digital initiatives that give you hope for the future, and faith in the power of humans to harness technology for the greater good.
Every now and then, I go to my Kiva dashboard and I realise that Chan, Eduardo, Anita – these people I have never met – have been repaying their loans enough for me to lend to someone else.
So I’ll do it again: I’ll put my money in the hands of complete strangers.

Will you?

For the comprehensive list of my weekly tests so far this year, click here

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