Saturday, March 30

Lending to Ali

Today i started a new loan through Kiva. This time it is to Ali in Lebanon. Ali lives with (and takes care of) his elderly parents. An experienced and reputable carpenter, he is looking to start his own business, and needs to stock up on wood and get some tools.

Ali's face is pixelated (like many Lebanese and Iraqi borrowers) to protect his privacy for "political and social" reasons. I'm guessing that people fear what might happen to them if they are seen as being connected to 'the west'.

The average wage in Lebanon is $5,900 a year ($16 a day) so the loan of $2,000 is the equivalent of 4 months pay. Obviously, most people would be scared to lend $2000 to someone overseas, but by each putting in $25, we can achieve things that would be impossible otherwise.

[Related link: Investing the Phillipines]

UPDATE: On March 17 2014, Ali made the final repayments. His business is presumably now going well, and I am satisfied to know that I could be part of helping him.