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Poverty and the Internet

Poverty and the Internet

The internet, in a lot of ways, gets a bad rap. It is largely stereotyped as something that’s the main purpose is to hand out a few good laughs and help you to find the nearest Starbucks. I believe that in all the noise of the World Wide Web is it hard for people to see and utilize the internet to its full potential. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is a quick look at a few companies that are doing the internet justice.

  1. Kiva.com

Kiva is a funding engine for impoverished entrepreneurs that are trying to dig their own way out of poverty, instead of receiving free handouts. If someone needs the capital to buy a sheep, they can apply for a microloan on Kiva. After they raise that sheep and sheer the wool, they pay back their loan at no interest. Microloans are some of the only ways for people living below the poverty line to gain access to a large sum of money all at once. Not only do these loans improve the lives of the people who receive them, but also the entire community.

  1. dosomthing.org

Dosomething.org has taken an effective modern approach to combatting poverty. You can sign up for the service and receive text messages from ‘Freddy’ asking you to get involved in humanitarian projects in your area. He may ask you to write a note for a kid with cancer, or volunteer at your local food shelter. When you complete the task you are rewarded with a scholarship entry. Not only does this motivate students to get involved, dosomthing.org also keeps you aware of projects brewing in your community.

  1. povertyusa.org

Poverty USA is an organization that educates the general public on the struggle of being poor in the U.S. They also provide resources to get you involved in the fight. There are plenty of sites that can update you on how bad things are but few that give you practical resources on how to make a difference.

I hope this sheds some light on the good that the internet is capable of.

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Poverty and the Internet

The internet, in a lot of ways, gets a bad rap. It is largely stereotyped as something that’s the main purpose is to hand out a few good laughs and help you to find the nearest Starbucks. I believe that in all the noise of the World Wide Web is it hard for people to see and utilize the internet to its full potential. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is a quick look at a few companies that are doing the internet justice.

  1. Kiva.com

Kiva is a funding engine for impoverished entrepreneurs that are trying to dig their own way out of poverty, instead of receiving free handouts. If someone needs the capital to buy a sheep, they can apply for a microloan on Kiva. After they raise that sheep and sheer the wool, they pay back their loan at no interest. Microloans are some of the only ways for people living below the poverty line to gain access to a large sum of money all at once. Not only do these loans improve the lives of the people who receive them, but also the entire community.

  1. dosomthing.org

Dosomething.org has taken an effective modern approach to combatting poverty. You can sign up for the service and receive text messages from ‘Freddy’ asking you to get involved in humanitarian projects in your area. He may ask you to write a note for a kid with cancer, or volunteer at your local food shelter. When you complete the task you are rewarded with a scholarship entry. Not only does this motivate students to get involved, dosomthing.org also keeps you aware of projects brewing in your community.

  1. povertyusa.org

Poverty USA is an organization that educates the general public on the struggle of being poor in the U.S. They also provide resources to get you involved in the fight. There are plenty of sites that can update you on how bad things are but few that give you practical resources on how to make a difference.

I hope this sheds some light on the good that the internet is capable of.

Read More

Micro Financing: A New Way of Fighting Poverty

Organizations like Kiva and HOPE International are at the forefront of a unique and relatively recent model for charitable giving. Traditionally, money given to benefit the poor in other countries around the world meant paying for charity organizations to work in communities to provide food, clean water and other forms of relief. The problem here is that the donation only goes so far.

There is an old saying that goes something like, “You can either give a man a fish and feed for a day, or teach him to fish and feed him for the rest of his life.” What this means is that while giving is a good thing, it isn’t sustainable. Micro financing fits better into the second half of this saying. The basic concept is that small donations are compiled into relatively small loans, usually ranging from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand. This money is given to entrepreneurs in poor countries to help them start a self-planned business. Examples are the cost of a bicycle so that they can deliver groceries or the start-up costs of a small street vendor. With a very high payback rate (both Kiva and HOPE claim 98-99% rates), donors know that they are giving to a worthwhile cause, and can even reinvest the money after it has been paid off!

Visit these two great organizations’ sites to help out your fellow entrepreneurs around the world:

www.hopeinternational.org

www.kiva.org

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Kiva: Creating an Industry of Philanthropists

I have been an long time support of Kiva.  It is a great company that makes it so easy to help other people. It empowers people by allowing them to give money to back up micro loans that would otherwise be to risky to do without Kiva guaranteeing them. Kiva has exploded since it creation.  Kiva has allowed hundred of other get ministries to form because of Kiva.  Kiva is the Ebay of ministry.  Kiva has a whole page of plugins people have created on Firefox for Kiva.  It has allowed ministries such as World Vision to find people who could really use loans and use the Kiva platform to fund their client.  Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. is a company that was founded in 1986.  It was started by a group of Christian businessmen who wanted to help with Philipians issues with poverty and unemployment.   Kiva has given this group of businessmen the tools and resources they need to effectively minister to their community.  Alalay sa Kaunlaran has been on Kiva since 2008 and they have loaned over 2,000,000 dollars on Kiva.  Kiva has revolutionized the way people raise money for 3rd world businessman.  Kiva is a perfect example of how powerful the internet is.  Kiva was an origination that wanted to get involved in micro financing, but because of the power of the internet.  Kiva has allowed normal people to kelp a taxi drive in the Congo receive a loan to fix his car.  Or another example would a boy from Ohio can help father with 6 kids build his house.  Kiva and the internet has opened up huge opportunities to help people who really need loan.

 

By Ford Jordan
FordJordan.com | SEO, Webdesign, Sports, and Business

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Kiva Loans Capital to World's Poorest

Kiva.org is an innovative non-profit organization that takes entrepreneurs from some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world and essentially gives them the capital to start their own business.  Kiva uses their website as a marketing tool, a weblog, and a means by which members can monitor how much money they’ve lent and to whom.

One aspect of Kiva.org that I believe is a very useful marketing tool is their “Community” tab.  Kiva allows members to join various “Lending Teams” and pool the money they’re lending together towards whatever cause or dogma they uphold (i.e. Kiva Christians, Team Obama, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender, Team Europe, etc…).  Each respective team is ranked against other teams by how much money they’ve raised.

I like the way Kiva’s purpose is to help the poor by creating virtual VCs in order to create accountability, and their site does an excellent job of turning the cause of raising money into a competition between various regions, belief systems, and (in the case of GLBT) sexual preference.

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Kiva: Sounds kind of shady

Kiva is a website where entrepreneurs post their business ideas in hopes of getting an investor in the company.  There are entrepreneurs all over world seeking money to help start up their businesses. Kiva is based on the generosity of people and it promotes dignity, responsibility, and transparency. Kiva has generated over $100 million in loans to entrepreneurs. Lenders look through the profile and send money through paypal or a credit card to that person. I personally would never get involved in this because you only read a small profile and do not get to actually talk to the person. If the person did not repay, it would be a headache to go through getting a couple hundred dollars back or even a couple thousand. I think the website is a good idea, but is just something I would never get involved in.

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