Subsistence in Uganda, Excess in the West: Our Kiva Entrepreneur for #GivingTuesday.
As you will probably have noticed by now (unless you’re new to our blog, in which case hello there, it’s lovely to meet you!) we use Kiva.org to make monthly ‘loans that change lives’ to entrepreneurs without access to traditional banking systems.
However, this month’s loan is a little bit special, as we are making it to take part in #GivingTuesday.
What is #GivingTuesday all about?
The idea is simple - on the 29th November, directly after the post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we all dedicate a day to doing ‘good stuff’- be it making, baking, doing or donating- for our favourite charity or cause.
Simple, right? But incredibly effective. In the two years #GivingTuesday has been taking place here it’s gained phenomenal momentum - raising £6000 per minute for UK charities last year, and smashing the world record for the most money donated online in a 24 hour period.
We are so excited to see how much a variety of good causes can benefit from this year’s event, and have already started following the inspiring stories of good stuff taking place via the hashag (you should, too!).
Our Kiva Entrepreneur for #GivingTuesday
Our recipient this month is Alfred, who lives in Rukoki, a region high up on the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains, close to Uganda’s Western border.
He is seeking a loan of $875 (roughly 300,0000 Ugandan Shillings) from Kiva’s Ugandan field partner BRAC and their Small Enterprise Programme (SEP), which provides loans for entrepreneurs whose businesses are established but who do not have the collateral for a commercial loan.
Alfred has runs his shop, which sells essential household goods such as soap and bread, for the past eight years. He intends to use his loan to expand his selection of stock, and hopes to grow his business to a point where he can create more jobs within his community in the future.
Despite Uganda’s recovery from its troubled past to a country of relative stability and greatly reduced poverty, rural areas like Alfred’s are still struggling. Some 8 million rural people, mostly farmers, live below the poverty line, scattered across remote regions. Alfred’s shop provides a vital service to one such area, where transport links, access to roads and vehicles are limited.
It seems particularly appropriate for this to be our loan for #GivingTuesday as there is such a stark contrast between the essential goods his customers buy as part of their subsistence, and the bonanza of excess consumption we are whipped up into as a result of Black Friday promotions.
If you feel similarly inspired to make a donation, Alfred’s page is here, and you can find many, many more ideas for good stuff to do (as well as details of some of the incredible things being done by featured ‘good’uns’ already) on #GivingTuesday’s website.
About the Author: Alice Perry
Alice is Inkspiller’s project manager. She oversees all that we do, and thinks there is no task that can’t be improved by the making of a bulleted list.