Kiva doesn't hassle me like that, but used to tell me when I had some news about one of my loans. I saw yesterday that they had redone their website too. More modern-looking, although I don't find it much more user-friendly.
I make a major contribution to a family in Bali and one in Lombok. The first was to enable my former cafe manager to buy a car for transport business which now sustains the family and educates the kids through tertiary education. In Lombok a 20 yr old girl ran a tiny 'kios' which sold to her village small things like school stationery, cigarettes, candy bars and snacks etc. She is a smart lady and when I saw her last May she has grown the kios to a supermarket...freezer bins, 6 aisles of racks of convenience items, Petrol for motorbikes and very busy trade. I feel so proud of her...she was orphaned at 6 months and was raised by the village.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
Just this morning I was thinking to check on my Kiva account since they don't send me news any longer. It turned out that I had $30 in credit so I lent another $25 to two young women in Guatemala who are running a shop selling books and school supplies.
I had a look through my loans, only two defaulted (out of 31) and one or two were repaid with a currency loss. I limited myself to Central and South America and women while looking for loans and was surprised that many of the women from Ecuador wanted to buy creams and perfumes to sell. Things must be improving.
I checked my Babyloan account again and saw that I have had 37 successful loans. I still have 5 loans in progress, including the sad case of Azerbaidjan, which is already a year late in the reimbursement project. From what I understand, the person is not a deadbeat but there is some sort of conflict for money transfer between Babyloan and the local agency. No big deal for me since I only loaned 20 euros. Everything else is going fine, even if Fouad in Belgium is also slightly behind schedule, but he has until February 2019 to make good on the 7 euros that he still owes me. The other three loans -- one to Uganda and two to Vietnam -- are completely on schedule.
As soon as I have finished paying for my new roof and other work on my dwelling, I am going to add more money to the pot so that I can support more projects.
Well, the Azerbaidjan has been written off by Babyloan. Political corruption killed the projects there.
However, I was looking at another set of statistics on the site, showing what I have done over the years. I confess that it gives me considerable satisfaction to think that I have helped people, even in the tiniest of ways, in so many places.
My Babyloan site has written to say that they are in financial difficulty due to the pandemic. Revenue went down 30% in 2020. They are reaching an agreement with the Dutch site lendahand.org which is one of the biggest microcredit sites in Europe with the ambition of creating a unified European microcredit site. At the moment, they are saying that if just 15% of the members contribute 10 euros, it should return them to financial safety.
If ever they have to close, the French government will be in charge of the outstanding loans and will continue to reimburse members.