“Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
What is Kiva?
Kiva is a non-profit organization with a “mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.”
How it Works?
1. Choose a Borrower
2. Make a Loan
To learn about the effectiveness and importance of MicroFinance Loans, click here.
3. Get Repaid
To learn more about Kiva, click here.
Although it’s true that poverty exists everywhere, it’s easy to forget about it or become immune to it. Although I see people begging for the money or sleeping on the streets all the time in the States, I hardly ever give them much thought. I mean, “America’s the land of opportunity,” right? Why should I help them when they can just go get a job and fend for themselves? This might seem heartless, but that’s always been my attitude.
Now that I have been in Africa for a few days now, I’m starting to see poverty in a different light.
While it is true that some people choose to be poor by refusing to utilize the tools and resources they have at their disposal–other people can’t help being poor. Sometimes the only thing that separates the poor from the rich is the word “opportunity.” There are many people in this world who have the capability to do great things but lack the opportunity to do so.
It’s truly a tragedy.
But opportunity can be changed. It’s like a dirt path in a sense that it can be continually trampled upon, overgrown and abandoned or upgraded to pavement. The same is true with a person’s opportunities. There are many organizations out there like Kiva, World Vision and Hope International, who exist to provide people who were either born poor or who are just “down in their luck” with the resources to turn hard work into an opportunity to “upgrade” their standard of living.
So my original mentality towards the poor was half right and half wrong. I was right in the sense that people can get a job and work hard to get themselves out of poverty, but what I forgot to consider is the fact that someone has to hire them or give them the resources to finance their own start-up. That someone has to be those of us, that is those of us with the ability and the desire to sacrifice at times, for the sake of giving someone else the opportunity to succeed. That someone has to be me.
And all this from a little dirt path….
Most of us have heard of TOMS. Some of us may have them on our feet right now. Today, TOMS is celebrating something special and have asked you to go barefoot. If you don’t know about TOMS, they are a One-for-One movement, which means with every shoe purchase made, TOMS will give a new pair to a child in need. To learn more about TOMS, click here.
What is One Day Without Shoes?
“One Day Without Shoes is the day we raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life by going without shoes.”
“Millions of children live without shoes. Many are exposed to injury and disease each day, and are not allowed to go to school without shoes.”
How Does it Work?
Go barefoot. Take off your shoes, and when people ask why, let them know. You can register at OneDayWithoutShoes.com to get updates. “Spreading awareness is easy, and changes lives.”
Spread the Word:
Rally Signs, Street Stencils, Pocket Info Cards, Stickers, Profile Pics and Banners, DIY T-shirts, and Displays. To learn more about spreading the word, click here.
What if you took one full day of your wages and donated it? Did you know that would only be .04% of your yearly pay? It really isn’t all that much money and I am sure we could survive without one days pay. One Day’s Wages is an organization that is “a new movement of people, stories and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty.” They “exists to promote awareness, invite simple giving, and support sustainable relief through partnerships, especially with smaller organizations in developing regions. [They] believe technology + relationships is one way to engage millions of ordinary people across the world in the fight against global poverty.”
“While compassion is an important aspect of our humanity, One Day’s Wages goals are not merely to distribute funds, but rather, to partner with organizations already working to allow people to lift themselves out of poverty.” You can help these organizations by donating to their funds, sharing this organization with friends and family, joining them on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets, or by joining their global street team.
A story of an incredible woman who gives up everything to serve and care for 5,000 orphans.
Click the picture below to watch Abebech Gobena’s story and learn more about her orphanges in Ethiopia.
To learn more about where this content was cited from, click here.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic and work in some of the poorest villages. In these villages, large families lived in small shacks; living only about two miles away from the beautiful beaches along the Caribbean. However, many of the children had never stepped foot in the gorgeous clear water or even in the warm sand. Although we might find that a crime to live so close to the beach and never experience it, that was the least of their worries. One thing that stood out amongst everything was how little they had. Some children had little clothes and almost no one had shoes. No shoes? How could someone walk around in the glass and rock filed dirt roads with no shoes? Unfortunately, about 300 million children* in the world walk around without shoes every day. Fortunately, there are many ways you can help put shoes on these barefoot children. One unique organization is Soles4Souls.