I am writing about a program that everyone should know about.  Your savings account can help alleviate poverty!  And if all goes as planned, you won't lose a dime. 

Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. 

Here's how it works.  Let's say a woman in Africa would like to start her own business making and selling embroidered clothing.  She needs this business to feed her family and maintain shelter.  You would lend her the money -or as much as you can (as little as $25)- until she can raise enough to get her business up and running.  Once she is making profit, she is able to pay you back and is now empowered to support herself and her family (and perhaps even hire on a few other people who also need the income)!  You get to personally chose who you want to help and then will be informed with updates of their success.  Of the $8,530,935 of loans with completed loan terms, the default rate is 0.2%. (I know, it surprised me too!)  Each entrepreneur is screened by a local Kiva Field Partner before being posted on Kiva's website.  Kiva has put together a rating system to advise you what kind of risk each candidate may be.  They also provide training and other assistance to maximize the entrepreneur's chances of success.

This is such a great way to put your money towards a charitable program, with a better than good chance that it won't cost you anything!  When you are repaid, you can keep the $, or recirculate back into the system to help out another entrepreneur in need.

Check out their website to learn more and to see that they are a very reputable program. 

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