Friday, October 23, 2009

Traditional Annual 2009 Halloween Recruit-a-Thon

All right, I got the nine 2010 Kiva calendars, and as promised, one of them can be yours. The past February we had the Valentine’s Day Loan-a-Thon, this time I’m thinking something different, a bring-a-new-member-thon, mmmm, too long, how about recruit-a-thon, that’s it, the Traditional Annual 2009 Halloween Recruit-a-Thon. Bring over new members to the team, friends, family, coworkers, neighbors… those who bring the most new members during the Traditional Annual 2009 Halloween Recruit-a-Thon win a brand new 2010 Kiva calendar…

The Traditional Annual 2009 Halloween Recruit-a-Thon starts NOW and ends next Friday October 30, seven days.

Don’t forget to post on the team's wall who the new member is and who recruit him/her, otherwise I won’t be able to track it down. Don’t worry about where you are if you win, I’ll be happy to ship the calendar wherever it has to go. You can take a look at the calendar on Kiva’s shop page or at the team blog.

Monday, October 19, 2009

10 Questions for Muhammad Yunus (Time Magazine)

Do you think it is ethical to charge the poor interest and make a profit out of it?
Hasan Iqbal


In Bangladesh, Grameen Bank charges the lowest rate among all microcredit programs, and yes, we make a profit. But Grameen Bank is owned by the borrowers, so when we make a profit, it goes back to the borrowers as dividends.

Are microloans taking a hit because of the recession?

Katie Malone


We use very local money that is going to the local poor, so there is no way the hit taken by the financial centers of the world could be transmitted to us. We don't see fluctuations in repayment rates or anything like that. We are O.K.

How would you help the world out of recession?

Azmath Shamrad


The system failed us. There's no reason why we should resuscitate it. We have to make absolutely sure that we don't go back to the same old normalcy. We should be creating a new normalcy. That opportunity has to be taken.

Microfinancing empowers Bangladeshi women. Is it driving cultural change?

Lucas Torrin, OTTAWA

The most dramatic thing that has happened in Bangladesh in the past 25 years is the total change in the status of women. Microcredit has played a very important role in that, particularly with poor women.

Has technology like cell-phone payment changed the microlending environment?

Daniel Weldon, PORTLAND, ORE.

Not yet, but it opens up the door for all kinds of cell-phone-based banking facilities, health-care facilities, marketing facilities. The cell-phone [network in Bangladesh] has been laid out, so now it's a question of bringing the programs and content to those things.

Have you ever found an incident of corruption involving a Grameen Bank loan?

Rudi Toruan


We have cases of corruption, but Grameen Bank now has 28,000 staff, 8 million borrowers and 2,600 branches. We lend out over $100 million each month and have a similar amount coming back. It's very easy to put money in your pocket. But the amazing thing is that cases of corruption are so rare.

Do you think the model of microlending that is so successful in Bangladesh can be applied elsewhere?

Sadruddin Salman


Today Grameen programs are everywhere. We even have a program in New York City, and it works beautifully. It's the same system as in the villages of Bangladesh. We do it in Latin American countries--in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica--in exactly the same way.

Why has it been difficult to implement microcredit schemes in Africa?


We have a program in Zambia, and we have absolutely no problem. If somebody says microcredit doesn't work in Africa, I would not agree. I see it working.

Population growth contributes greatly to global poverty. What are your thoughts about the problem?

Bob O'Connor, OSLO

Thirty years back, Bangladeshi mothers had an average of 6.2 children. Today the average is 3.1. The population-growth rate has drastically come down, and among many explanations is the empowerment of women. They became aware of their ability to handle their lives and make decisions. Microcredit is not a population program, but it has helped women see how they can live their own lives.

As individuals, what's the best thing we can do to consign poverty to museums?

Louise Holly, LONDON

Make people believe that we can send poverty to museums. When I talk about it, people laugh and say, "It's impossible." But when you don't believe something, you can't achieve it. You have to imagine and make that imagination achievable.


To watch a video interview with Muhammad Yunus and subscribe to the 10 Questions podcast on iTunes, go to

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kiva 2010 Calendar is here...

Look at a few pictures contained in the calendar...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First Kiva team to reach $1,000,000.00 in loans.

Congrats to the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious, for being the first Kiva team to reach one million dollars in loans. But watch it, we are going to beat you soon (yeah right!).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

September Stats

The most relevant aspect about September is the growth in terms of membership the team had. Nineteen new members joined the team, the biggest number since October 2008, where 45 new loaners joined. It was fun tracking down the new members, and here they are, welcome to the team:

Steve (Salem, OR)
Jorge (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
A&L (Bellevue, WA)
Queen La Chica (Duncan, BC, Canada)
Ivan (Estado de Mexico, Mexico)
El peso nuestro (Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico)
Federico (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico)
Sergio (Distrito Federal, Mexico)
Juan & Marisol MM (San Francisco, CA)
Daniela (Baltimore, MD)
salvador (East Palo Alto, CA)
Arturo (Sylmar, CA)
Sergio (Baldwin Park, CA)
Paul (Cholula, Puebla, Mexico)
Mary (Bend, OR)
m in nyc (US)
Julianne (Portland, OR)
Deena (Mesa, AZ)

If I missed someone, my apologies. Let me know so I can acknowledge you next time.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The end of the world as we know it! Again!

Massive property destruction, millions dying, a whole city gobbled up by the ocean!!! Hollywood loves, LOVES destroying our biggest metropolitan areas and most recognizable landmarks over and over again. Earthquake? Checked. Meteorite? Checked. Alien invasion, zombie attack and lethal virus? Checked, checked and checked! Oh, and super big monsters and nuclear war too!

But the movie 2012 promises to be on a new level of cheesy special effects, unbelievable plot and terrible acting. I mean, the world is coming to an end, do I see frenzied panic on the face of the denizens of this movie? Do they fall on their knees in paralyzing fear as anybody on this situation would do? No, they are cool enough to drive a limo dodging crumbling streets and freeways, even through a falling skyscraper!

I dare you to sit and watch…

The Mayan calendar ends in 2012, big deal, go purchase a new Mayan calendar and we save the world!