Compassion, charity & Kiva – Making a difference

“A man reaps what he sows”

Until I started writing this blog post, I did not realise that this adage went back to the bible, Galatians 6. Nor did I know that the word “compassion” originates from “to suffer together with” in Latin’s past participle “compassus” 

I have always been a believer in giving back whenever possible. My wife and I donate to charity annually. I have also been donating my time to various charity fundraisers. That is the only pro-bono/“working for exposure” photography that we do. 

We have also donated artworks for charity auctions. If you are a charity organisation based in Vietnam and need help, then please get in touch and let us see what we can do. We prefer to work directly with people in need as we want to have maximum impact. We currently work with a local pagoda for charity support. 

Small actions do help. 

We are also active on Kiva. Our goal is taking out at least one new loan per month. Whenever the loans get repaid, we reinvest. Microfinance helps people grow. If you are new to Kiva, then Forbes ran an article on Kiva that you can read here:

Kiva has its success story page, highlighting the personal stories from the people who have benefitted from the loans:

Please consider joining us over at Kiva:

Our Kiva journey started in January 2013 with a promise to take out one loan every month. That is a US$ 25 investment per month. US$ 300 per year. On average, 100 cups of coffee. If you are a daily coffee drinker, skipping a cup every three days, you can easily afford this.

I know what you are thinking, how can you skip a cup of coffee? I know, it is hard, I love coffee myself. However, I have still managed to have my coffee and to take out a loan. 

The impact of being able to help others is worth the investment. I have reinvested all my repaid loans. I have lost some of the initial investment. Either as a direct loss due to defaulting of the loan as well as currency loss. The losses are small. I don’t do this to make money. 

By reinvesting, you make your impact larger. Our current number of loans is six times higher than our investment. That is how you make a difference. 

Why do I write about it? Is it to make me look good? “Do charity without letting anyone know”, they say. 

I write to inform and inspire. I thought that US$ 25 was not enough to make a difference. Why bother? But I started. The first years were slow.

Then something incredible took place. I could take out more loans as more repayments came in. I could see the difference. Kiva has a graph that lets you see the impact over the years. Seeing the graph climbing faster was motivation enough. 

Now, as I write this, we have passed 800 loans. I never thought we could achieve that when starting. Now, 1000 loans are achievable. 

Behind those numbers are real people. People with dreams and hopes. They want to grow their business and improve their lives. All made possible by Kiva loans. 

I do hope if you have managed to read this far, that you will consider joining Kiva. Be part of making a difference, one loan at the time.

I don’t get any financial benefits by recommending Kiva. They match donations (or at least they used too) whenever someone uses the signup link. The views above are my own experience with them and their platform.