Giving and Getting

It doesn’t have anything to do with Writing and Reading, but I had the nice surprise this morning to discover that the loan I’d made through Kiva has been fully repaid, ahead of schedule. My money (along with others’) went to a tiny lady in Cambodia who has a vegetable stall and makes 3$ a day. Kudos to her for honoring that loan! In a time where banks and governments are tempted to borrow always more and default, it feels good to see such dedication, efforts and results.

I’ve decided to reuse the money to make a new loan, and add another one in the basket, since it works so well! Every time I’ll be repaid in full of one $25 loan, I’ll relend and increase my donation with a new one, as long as I can afford it.

If you’re interested in supporting microfinance projects to responsibly fight poverty but don’t know where to start, I urge you to take 5 minutes and discover how it works.

On Tuesday I visited our newly-reopened neighborhood library and had a few hours to read on my own. I browsed through the recent English acquisitions, and read a big chunk of Changing my mind by Zadie Smith, a collection of essays.

I’ve never read Zadie Smith before (although I should) and am not familiar with the authors or books she mentioned in many of her essays (Middlemarch, Nabokov, Zora Neale Hurston, David Forster Wallace). But I love her clear and generous voice. One essay in particular drew my attention and departed from the literary theory: an account of a trip to Liberia organized by Oxfam. It’s a very good piece of journalism, and it really makes you want to grab your checkbook to do something about poverty.

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One thought on “Giving and Getting

  1. Yay for charitable microfinance and to the lady in Cambodia!

    I’m also enjoying that collection of essays from Zadie Smith. I haven’t read that piece on Liberia yet but I enjoyed the earlier ones.

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