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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » HPMF = Florence's Mirembe School (Page 1)

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Author Topic: HPMF = Florence's Mirembe School
Tatiana
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Hatrack Perpetual Microfinance Fund

One of the things I like most about our community at Hatrack River is the annual gift to charity we've done at year's end for the last several years. I've watched Dr. Rabbit do the administration and been happy to just put in my bit. She does such a great job.

Well now, I feel like I should do something too. I'm really excited about kiva the online organization that provides microfinance capital to entrepreneurs all over the developing world. As I've posted elsewhere, I think it's a really great idea.

1) The money we contribute would collect into a rotating loan fund. The payback rate so far for kiva is 97.49%, and for microfinance as a whole, it's above 95%. So the fund should just continue to grow as people chip in here and there over time. Each time a loan is paid back, we can loan it to a new person. We could take votes on which entrepreneur to fund each month. We could all get a kick out of watching the whole thing snowball.

2) It's not charity in the sense of giving someone something one time that doesn't materially change their situation. These loans are to help people pull themselves and their families out of poverty, and allow them to increase their income from now on. Instead of giving someone a fish, these loans are financing people to buy fishing equipment, to twist the tired metaphor. =)

3) If you would like to contribute something, paypal it to me at annekateard AT bham DOT rr DOT com. I'll keep careful records, which anyone can audit at any time they like, and I'll start a lender account called "jatraqueros" (to avoid any copyright infringement on Uncle Orson's "Hatrack River" name.) I'll post updates here, and tally the votes.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
To contribute to our jatraqueros fund, paypal money to me at annekateard AT bham DOT rr DOT com. No amount is too small! OR you can go to kiva, make your own profile, and join our NEW lending team, Team Jatraquero!!! That way you get to keep control of your own funds, choose your own borrowers, and still have your loans counted toward our hatrack totals.

Our Lender Page.

Spreadsheet showing summary, statistics, loans, and future cash flow as of the last time I updated it. This takes a while to do, so unless I hear that people are using this, I probably won't keep it very current.

Monthly Record:
Feb 2007: $275 to Jose Dolores Ramos Cruz in Chihuahua Mexico for his grocery store. PAID BACK
Mar 2007: $125 to Nora Topeto in Samoa for her flea market stand. PAID BACK
Apr 2007: $100 to Laurette Abia in Ivory Coast for her cassava cakes business. PAID BACK
May 2007: $100 to Jecinta Muthoni Kamau in Kenya for her produce stand in an open air market.
Jun 2007: $350 to Elisa Amarilla Dominguez in Paraguay for her in-home grocery store. PAID BACK
Jul 2007: $150 to Arzukhanim Bayramova in Salyan region, Azerbaijan for her cattle breeding business. PAID BACK
Aug 2007: $100 to Fru Donatus Chi in Alabukam, Mankon, NW. Province, Cameroon for his motorcycle taxi business. REFUNDED
Sep 2007: $100 to Isha Kamara in Magburaka, Tonkolili, Sierra Leone to buy stock for her food market. PAID BACK
Oct 2007: $125 to Julio Chuya in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to buy ingredients for his bakery. PAID BACK
Nov 2007: $75 to Santos Filomena Medina De Huamán in Tarma, Peru, to help grow her lumber business. PAID BACK
Dec 2007: $475 to Lupe Mamani in La Paz, Bolivia, to buy materials to manufacture more shoes. PAID BACK
Jan 2008: $125 to Zubaidah in Badung, Indonesia to buy ingredients for selling rice and vegetables.
AND.....: $25 to Víctor Miranda De La Cruz in Juliaca, Peru to help him buy another phone for his call center business. PAID BACK
April 2008: $125 to Malik Goibova in J.Rasulov, Tajikistan for her material selling business. PAID BACK
May 2008: $225 to Teófilo Ramón Peralta Ibarra in Esteli, Nicaragua to buy better food for his restaurant.
AND.....: $150 to the Tzolojya Group, a group of 12 women in Solola, Guatemala for use in their various businesses selling food and clothing.
June 2008: $175 to Phorn Sok in Ping Pong Village, Cambodia for more bitter melons to sell.
Special Bonus Loan to celebrate our 17th kiva loan:
June 2008: $25 to Tep Moa in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to purchase rice seed, fertilizers, and carpentry tools for their farm.
July 2008: $550 to The Claritas Group in Santa Clara La Laguna, Solola, Guatemala, to buy supplies for a bakery, beads, animal feed, and fabric for dressmaking.
August 2008: $525 to San Roque Group in El Alto / La Paz, Bolivia for capital to buy or rent fixed stands or shops to ply their wares.
September 2008: $100 to Seblatou Adossou of Danyi, Togo, to help him increase his area of farmable land.
October 2008: $125 to Un Ran in Pour Village, Cambodia, to help her buy a cow to plow her rice field, plus fertilizers and seed.
November 2008: $150 to Moibatou Teagbanlin in Cotonou, Benin, for her scrap metal business.
January 2009: $75 to Ngov Savy in Siem Reap, Cambodia, a farmer. The loan will be used to repair her house.
February 2009: $350 to Mehrinisso Usupova in Yavan, Tajikistan, to purchase seeds for her farm.
March 2009: $225 to the Danaya Group in Fana KOULIKORO, Mali, to purchase condiments for their food stands.
April 2009: $250 to Aminata Kassongue in KOUTIALA, Mali to buy condiments for her food business. Condiments must be popular in Mali.
May 2009: $25 to Juanita in Ayacucho, Peru for purchase of fertilizer and payment of workers for her farm.
AND...: $300 to Faress in Saida - South, Lebanon for merchandise to sell at his fruits and vegetables stand.

[ October 30, 2009, 10:13 AM: Message edited by: Tatiana ]

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Tatiana
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For February, we've collected $25 so far. We will wait until the end of the month to vote on our person, because entrepreneurs go up on the board and get funded quickly.
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Tatiana
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Thanks, Papa, for the sticky! [Smile]
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Dragon
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I just sent you some money... And created a paypal account just to do it. [Razz]
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Tatiana
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Awesome! [Smile]

Edit to add that I'll update the amount collected at random intervals, to keep people's donation amounts fairly private.

Also I wanted to say on this thread that most of the borrowers are using the money for capital projects, to increase the amount of income their businesses can generate. For instance, someone who sells ice cream in the city center might be buying another freezer so they can expand their offerings. Someone who does laundry for people might be buying a new faster dryer or something so they can process more loads a day. Many people who sell things retail are asking for loans to increase their stock. Others have orders from customers they need loans to fill, which will be paid back as soon as the customer pays for the order.

Lots of them have families, and they're using the increased income to pay school fees for their kids, so this will have a snowball effect on future generations as well. By keeping their kids in school longer, they are giving them higher earning potential for their entire lives, not to mention just a higher quality of life from being educated.

[ February 18, 2007, 07:17 PM: Message edited by: Tatiana ]

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Euripides
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How about this man or maybe one of the farmers?
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Tatiana
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Sounds good! At the end of each month, we can vote on who to make our loan to. I bet any particular borrower we pick right now will be fully funded by then, though.

The fund is up to $100 now!

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Rakeesh
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Microloans is something I'm already contributing to as a charity of sorts, so you'll hafta wait until March for mine, Tatiana, but I'll go with whatever is voted for or decided upon then [Smile]
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quidscribis
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Tatiana, this is a most excellent idea! Very very cool!


I'm going to make people I know here aware of this program so that if they know people who could benefit, they could sign up - completely separate from Hatrack. It just sounds like goodness that needs to spread. [Smile]

So far in the Asian region, I'm seeing a lot of Azerbaijan, Samoa, and Cambodia. Just because I'm curious and for no other reason. [Razz]


I've noticed also that they're looking for translators who are fluent in English and another language. If you're bilingual, it's worth checking out and seeing if you can help that way, regardless of being able to donate money or not. (As a side note, one of the languages listed as "might be needed in the future" is Sinhala, which is spoken only in Sri Lanka, so...)

They're also looking for volunteers to do website development work and other things, donations of old digital cameras that are collecting dust in your closet, that sort of thing.

They also have a number of banner ads and such that you/we could put on our websites and drive more traffic and awareness to their cause.

So, if you can't afford to donate, please consider helping out in other ways.

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Tatiana
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They're expanding like crazy, making new partnerships with microfinance organizations all over the world (they serve as a front end), so I know they will need lots of translation done, and other services. I want to shout out to all RMs that this would be an excellent way to keep practicing your mission language. [Smile]

quidscribis, that's a great idea to encourage people to volunteer who have time.

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quidscribis
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Tatiana, I think that's an excellent idea - doing a shout-out to RMs. There are websites for RMs around - for keeping in touch and such. I think it might be a good idea to contact them. [Smile]
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quidscribis
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[Big Grin] Fahim and I discussed it, and he's given me permission to work kiva.org into a future article for the magazine he's the editor for. Not the first issue, but sometime after that. [Big Grin] Oh yeah, I love that guy!
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Tatiana
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Euripides, one thing I really like about the guy you picked is that he has already successfully paid back two smaller loans. The organizations on the far end are doing more than just lending. They're also, many of them, conducting classes in how to manage money, how to keep records, how to run small businesses at a profit, and so on. Some of them are offering training in job skills, like computer repair. They're also offering micro-insurance, some of them, and the full range of financial services that were previously unavailable to the very poor, because regular banks found them not worth their while to deal with such small amounts.

The microcredit organizations are not only extending credit to people to whom it wasn't previously available, but they're locating in neighborhoods where they're convenient to the poor, rather than the rich. (Poverty means far more than just lack of money. It means not being welcome many places, and paying a higher cost for everything.)

One of the snowball effects this model has is that it brings flourishing businesses to poor parts of town, which means more local jobs. Generally the more economic activity in an area, the better off the whole area will become. So it helps many people indirectly for every individual it helps directly. When you add that to the generational effects, it means that really we're getting tremendous bang for our buck here. [Smile]

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Euripides
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I totally agree Tatiana. I really appreciate that you've done your research on this project too. [Smile]
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Fusiachi
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Big fan of Kiva here. Just started my account this past month.

Best of luck.

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Tatiana
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We're up to $125! [Smile]
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Tatiana
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Yay, we're up to $145 now! This is so awesome, guys! [Smile]
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Tatiana
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Do you guys think it would be better to put it all on one loan? Or spread it around?

I'm taking votes on that. I'll tally them in this post.

Tally so far:

All on one loan: 3 votes

Spread it between several loans: 0 votes

[ February 26, 2007, 12:34 AM: Message edited by: Tatiana ]

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Dragon
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I vote for all the money from each month going to one person. We can loan to a different person each month, but I think it would be more useful to loan in larger sums than to break it up into little donations.
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Tatiana
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Awesome! I'm thinking the same thing. And then when we vote on a borrower, they'll be OUR borrower for that month, and we can all watch and see how they're doing, watch them pay off the loan over time, and root for them to succeed. [Smile]
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Dragon
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Sounds great. So... the guy Euripides picked or maybe this woman?
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Tatiana
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Oh, man, both of those look good! The guy borrower Euripedes picked is still raising funds, too! I thought sure he would be funded by now!

What picture should we use for jatraqueros? Maybe a group shot from one of the gatherings? Or maybe some Ender's Game cover art? Or maybe the little oval hatrack logo from above left? Can we use that? [Smile]

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quidscribis
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Or a hat rack? [Razz]
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Euripides
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I vote all in one lot.

If you decide to use cover art, the UK editions tend to look better. [Smile]

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by quidscribis:
Or a hat rack? [Razz]

I like this better.
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Tatiana
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Oh, that's a good idea! Does anyone want to link me to a picture they like?
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Lyrhawn
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Just a suggestion as I haven't donated, and though I'd like to, I'm just too strapped right now, for any amount of money.

Maybe after this round is over and the loan is paid back, and you start looking at another prospect I'll be able to chip in by then.

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Dragon
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That one is nice, though I also really like this classy one.
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Tatiana
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Oh, Dragon! That one is so cool! [Smile]
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Tatiana
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I went ahead and made us an account. You can see our lender page here! We can change the picture any time we want, but for starters I used Dragon's swanky hat rack. [Smile]

I'm all excited about our first loan, which will happen in only 3 more days! [Smile]

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Tatiana
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People who can think of clever ways to fill in our lender page info should do that. [Smile]

Occupation:
I loan because:
About me:

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Lyrhawn
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That IS rather snazzy.
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quidscribis
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by quidscribis:
Or a hat rack? [Razz]

I like this better.
I knew there was a reason I liked you, Lyrhawn. [Razz]


Dragon, LOOOOOOVE! the hatrack. It's so coool!


Tatiana, I love the kiva lender page, too. [Big Grin]

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Lyrhawn
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That and Stargate right? Haha, the list lengthens!
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quidscribis
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And so it does! [Smile]
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Tatiana
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Ooooh another donation came in! We're up to $165! [Smile] This is so awesome!
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ClaudiaTherese
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That is beautiful.

I have yet to receive a paycheck (but soon! Have resolved the Work Permit), so I can't contribute now. I will in the future.

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Dragon
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So... who are we donating to?
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Tatiana
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We have one vote each for 2 different people. What do we do in such a case? Maybe we should pick someone we all can get excited about lending to?

Update: Euripedes' guy has been fully funded already. Dragon's lady is still raising funds.

Nominations are open for borrowers! Pick someone and tell us why you picked them. Here is the link again for ease of reference.

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Dragon
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Ok, I picked this woman because she has children to support and because her business is selling food, which is something beneficial to her community. I also want to support her because it says she is the only breadwinner in the family, and I'm not sure what the social norms are about that in Azerbaijan, but I can imagine that it would be difficult.
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Lyrhawn
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How does donating to Kiva work for your tax write offs?

Technically you aren't donating, because the money is paid back, but you run the risk of it not being paid back, and it's interest free so you aren't making money off it.

Does it count as a charitable contribution?

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Tatiana
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Lyrhawn, it doesn't count as a charitable contribution, because you are getting it back. Of course, we're planning to loan ours again as soon as it's paid off, but the IRS doesn't count it as a donation. This is one you won't get tax credit for, although I still feel like we are getting far more for our money than if we gave a one-time donation which was used once and then gone. This way we get to watch it grow and snowball over time, and we're establishing a fund that will still be doing good things in the world, generating wealth and education for impoverished people, long after we're individually gone.

Dragon, your reasoning for your lady is persuasive.

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MidnightBlue
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From their FAQ:
quote:
25 If my loan defaults, can I then claim it as a tax-deductible donation?

No, because it was intended as a loan, not a donation. However you can claim it as a capital loss.

So it doesn't look to me like you can get any tax benefit for it.
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Lyrhawn
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Tatiana -

Oh don't get me wrong, I think this site, and microloans in general are a fantastic idea that over time can do far more good than a simple $50 donation to the Red Cross (not that that isn't worthy), it was just a random question I was curious about.

I got some good news in the mail the other day that means I'll have to pay less bills from now on, so let me know for sure when you get the loan paid back and you're ready to loan again, I'll have $50 waiting for you.

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Tatiana
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I plan to have the fund ongoing, and each month we can take whatever we have collected up from that month and make a new loan. So there's no need to wait the 6 - 18 month loan period until the first one is paid back, unless you just want to. I'm going to make it a regular thing and put a little in each month, I think. That way it can just keep on growing. [Smile]
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Tatiana
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All right, if nobody else has any nominations, I think Dragon's lady has won by a landslide! [Smile]
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Tatiana
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Wow, we're up to $265 now. [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]
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Tatiana
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Shall I leave the fund open for another few hours?

Dragon's lady is already fully funded now too.

Pick us someone else, Dragon! Or anyone! [Smile]

Link again for ease of reference.

[ February 28, 2007, 09:34 PM: Message edited by: Tatiana ]

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Dragon
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Well, what about this woman? She hasn't been funded yet at all, and needs quite a bit of money. Looks like most of my reasoning for the first woman applies to her too.
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Tatiana
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Okay, she sounds good to me too!

I'll wait one more hour, in case anyone else wants to donate or make a nomination or another suggestion.

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