I’m so over the insanity created by Christmas, by people who are not practicing Christians. Hundreds of dollars spent by every person on decorations, and wrapping – not to mention the actual presents. What’s worse, I feel anxiously burdened by a sense of society’s implicit obligation to give gifts to friends and family in order to demonstrate to them I care about them. This is total BS.
So, this year I have decided that instead of buying the compulsory gifts for my family which they neither need nor want, I’m going to cook a nice Christmas lunch with my sister, give mum and dad the day off, and put the cash to a more positive use.
I’m going to give the gift of sharing the good fortune I have, and pledge $400 worth of loans on www.kiva.org.
This website is a great way to “loan” money to people in developing countries so that they can buy supplies or equipment. These micro-loans are a way of helping entrepreneurial people in these countries use their skills to improve their living conditions. Rather than a straight “donation” or “handout” these loans are expected to be repaid and the Kiva website says they have around a 98% payback rate. Once your loan has been repaid you can choose to reinvest in another person, or withdraw your funds.
The hard part now is to look through the various borrowers and decide who I would like to work with to help them with their project.
Jessica Jackley, Founder of Kiva presenting at TED.