Yesterday’s 40 Acts was to be an ambassador for a cause you feel strongly about. I admitted my failings over on this post here. But I knew I had a blogging friend, Keith, who feels strongly about a charity called “Lend With Care”, so I asked him to write a Guest Post about his support for this charity. He describes himself as Retired IT guy and a lover of birds of prey. I look after web sites, I proofread, and I am an occasional photographer, writer and blogger”. Blog sites are http://channing.info and http://keithedgar.channing.info in addition to http://weeklypic.hawk-conservancy.org/, which displays other people’s photographs.
I must say, Lend With Care certainly interests me, and I’ve spoken to Mr D about it. When we’re slightly better off – he has just got a new job: regular, full time, gainful employment!!! We’ll have some spare cash!!! 🙂 – in a couple of months, we will think seriously about supporting this charity. Here, Keith explains why he already does:
I spent a couple of years during the early 1980s living and working in Africa, specifically in Nigeria in the west and Tanzania in the east. I recently saw a comment from one of my on-line friends, who told of his decision to become involved in a micro-financing initiative with Care International. I looked at the web site (lendwithcare.org) and immediately found that I could make a difference to a family in Africa – shades of bicycle fundi. If you ask me really nicely, I shall go into what that means and, more particularly, what it means to me, at a later date.
When in Nigeria, I was often overwhelmed by the number of beggars in the streets. Clearly, I couldn’t help all of them. Were I to give one cent to each of a hundred beggars, it would have had no impact, but if I gave a Naira to one man, it would have enabled him to buy a meal. That would have made a difference, and that is part of the reason I support Lendwithcare.
For a small investment, which will be repaid, provided the business doesn’t fail, we can contribute to the success of a small entrepreneur in Africa (or Asia, or South America) and help that person to lift a family out of poverty. When the loan is repaid, it can immediately be applied to another applicant. This arrangement appeals to me on two levels:
- This is not buying a man a fish, this is not even teaching a man to fish; this is lending a man the money to buy fishing tackle – he already knows how to fish, and
- We know whom it is helping.
When you sign up with Lendwithcare, you have access to a list of people who need funding. Behind each individual or group is a story, explaining what the person or group is aiming to do, how much cash they need to do it, and what the prospective outcome is. That makes it personal, and that’s good.
Loan amounts start at only £15. You will be told when the loan you are helping to provide is fully funded and there will be a repayment schedule. Repayments will be made to your account with Lendwithcare, from where you can use it to make another loan, donate it to Lendwithcare to help with their running costs, or transfer it back to your own bank.
We are, so far, helping three people: two men in Togo, one of whom wishes to grow his small vehicle spares business, the other needs to repair his truck so he can get back to work and provide for his family; and a lady in Ecuador, who wishes to expand her small grocery store to include a restaurant. When those three repay, that money can be re-circulated back to three new entrepreneurs – it just keeps on working.
Although we applaud, and support, other charities, none gives us quite the personal involvement that this one does. It goes beyond “your money will help people like Jim”, and says “your money will help Jim”. I commend it to anyone who will listen.
This is Marina Zavala, from Ecuador who despite losing her legs in her fight against polio, looks after her four children and runs her business raising and selling livestock – now thanks to a loan from lendwithcare.
I hope Keith’s post might inspire you, dear readers and followers to think about supporting this very worthwhile charity.