Lourdes was only 18 when she says her world came crashing down around her. She had been working as a maid from the age of 14, contributing what little money she earned to her struggling mother and siblings. Then she found out she was pregnant. She was alone, cast aside by her family and the father of her child.
When her son, Victor, was born, Lourdes pieced together work, trying to keep their little family of 2 afloat. She decided to start her own business selling empanadas and snacks. That’s when she took out her first business loan of just over $60 U.S. She set strict rules for herself to invest in her business and build savings. She grew the business and continued to take and repay bigger and bigger loans, eventually receiving a $975 loan funded on Kiva by 33 lenders located all over the world, from Norway to Australia.
Lourdes used that money to buy more stock and a refrigerator, building the business to the point that she was able to move into a new, bigger shop. This one had a secure gate to prevent robberies and an attached home for her family.
Why we do what we do at Kiva:
We envision a world where all people – even in the most remote areas of the globe – hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
We believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families.
How we do it:
Making a loan on Kiva is so simple that you may not realize how much work goes on behind the scenes.
Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. One hundred percent of your loan is sent to these microfinance institutions, which we call Field Partners, who administer the loans in the field.
Kiva relies on a world wide network of over 450 volunteers who work with our Field Partners, edit and translate borrower stories, and ensure the smooth operation of countless other Kiva programs.
100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly towards funding loans; Kiva does not take a cut. Furthermore, Kiva does not charge interest to our Field Partners, who administer the loans.
Kiva is primarily funded through the support of lenders making optional donations. We also raise funds through grants, corporate sponsors, and foundations.
We are incredibly thankful for the support that has enabled us to do the work that has touched the lives of so many people.
Voiceover by Martita: