fyi… my personal focus has been the West Bank of Palestine, but now taking a look at helping out folks in Indonesia.
Here's a good update, Low-Dose Capitalism:
The company works with 104 partners in 184 countries, which screen
applicants for legitimacy and creditworthiness. Kiva posts a photo and
biography of the borrower on its Web site; lenders can fund shares as
small as $25. "Kiva is kind of a line-blurring product," says Shah.
"It's not exactly commercial investment, it's not exactly a donation,
it's this 0% interest loan that you make [to] a total stranger." Kiva
claims that its lenders get stiffed on only 1.6% of the amount lent, a
default rate in line with the rest of the microfinance industry. The
average Kiva angel makes 4.8 loans.
"I think part of the success
of Kiva is that you actually get to see where your money goes," says
Shah. "You connect on a human level with who is using your money and
their story. People love the idea of helping people help themselves."