08 March 2010

Afi Ametepe of Amoussoukopé

In honour of International Women's Day, I just made a loan of $ 25 to Afi Ametepe of Amoussoukopé, Togo -- through KIVA "Loans That Change Lives".

First things first.

Who, or What, or Where is KIVA?

KIVA (a Swahili word meaning "unity" or "agreement") is a grassroots micro-finance project starting out with one big idea: one-to-one, real-time lending on the internet to help alleviate poverty around the world. It's mission is to serve the financial needs of people who have been excluded from traditional financial systems.

100% of loan funding raised on their website goes to KIVA entrepreneurs in poor countries. Over time, the recipient repays her loan. When lenders get their money back, they can re-lend to another entrepreneur, donate their funds to KIVA (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds -- a virtuous circle, in short.

In just this one week, KIVA has organized 18,528 loans. That's one loan every 16 seconds.

Here's how it works:

Now, who is Afi Ametepe?

Afi Ametepe is 45 years old, married and mother of two children. She lives in Tovegan, located a few kilometres/miles from Amoussoukopé. She has been a retailer of ‘sodabi’ (a traditional liqueur, distilled from palm wine) for the past five years. The loan from Kiva will allow her to buy more corn and brew and sell more sodabi liqueur.

With her earnings, Afi wants to assist her husband in taking care of the family, and also put some money aside so that she can expand her business in the near future.

She needs $ 275 in total. I kicked off the loans with my $ 25.

A Woman's Day gift from a Wein-Garten to a Palm-Wein woman.

Join me, if you would, with another $ 25 loan for Afi or any of the hundreds of woman entrepreneurs you can meet on the KIVA website.

Help lift women out of poverty. Nothing could be easier than with KIVA and few things will give you a warmer feeling.

This year, Gender Across Borders has called on all bloggers to participate in the first year of Blog for International Women’s Day.

This is Zenobia's simple contribution.

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