Im very lucky I have a good job, supportive family and friends and a pretty comfortable life style. I try to help others where I can and support a number of charities that are dear to my heart and very personal to me.
However one of my big issues with charities is that they often give out hand outs but rarely seem to actually do something to make a lasting improvement which is why I like charities like Guide Dogs for the Blind and the MacMillan Nurses because you can see the difference being made.
Over the years I have sponsored children through Christian Aid and seen them grow up into fine young adults and begin to make their own contribution to the world, and I like the idea of giving a helping hand to some one and knowing just a little bit of help from me can make a big difference to them. Surely a helping hand is much better than fighting and bombs in making this world a better place?
Three years ago I discovered another way of helping in this way when a friend blogged about an organization called Kiva. http://www.kiva.org/
This is a site where you can give micro loans of $25 US dollars [about £12.50] to individuals and they then pay back the money they have loaned over a set period. They may borrow $1000 dollars and have 40 different people loan them $25. as the loan is paid back to Kiva you get your $25 back and have the opportunity to either re-invest it or take your money back. However there is always a chance you wont get your money back if the person you have loaned it to defaults on the loan. I have now made over fify of these micro loans through Kiva and I loan the money assuming I will never get it back and am delighted if and I when do. I love it when I get enough back to re-invest in someone else’s future, the recycling of wealth makes excellent sense to me.
For me it’s all about helping someone achieve their dreams of a better life in a more personal way. I cant make sure everyone on the planet is safe, secure and well fed, I can however help a few individuals and if we all did that the world would be a much better place for all of us.
I think we all have a responsibility for leaving this world in a better shape than we inherited it – if future generations are to thrive and prosper we all have to do our bit in this world.