Kiva: A Hand Up Not A Hand Out

OK you grubby little Englanders.  Today I want to explain how as individuals, we can give a hand up to the decent hard-working poor in the Third World. Not a hand out to the idle gangsters who rule them.

I expect you may have noticed that Billothewisp has a very low opinion of the way UK foreign aid is allocated and spent.

To me it looks more like a never-ending pleasure excursion to fame and riches than a method of alleviating suffering. The fame and riches are, of course, shared out among the Fats Cats at home and the Fat Cats ruling the Third World poor.

Meanwhile the poor sods at the bottom of the pile  get the table scrapings.

Overhanging the whole enormous DFID budget is the ugly stench of graft and greed. Fat cat salaries and cynical exploitation of both the giver and receiver. Read this article in The Telegraph for a quick whiff.

Via our government and it's incredible addiction to Globalisation, we are soon going to be  each "giving" another £500 a year each whether we want to or not.

How charitable.

But people in the third world deserve a hand up not a hand out. Charity should be only for the truly incapacitated, not for the decent people of the Third world. They deserve better.

So Billothewisp doesn't do charity any more. Charity is for the work-house and pompous Victorian oligarchs.

Now there is a better way for a personal involvement in helping the poor of the third world.

It is called Micro-finance.

Small loans to real people in need of a hand up. The crucial thing here is that the money is a loan not a hand out. It gets repaid, and then (of course) can be lent out again.

It appears to work. The main organisation involved in this at the moment is Kiva. I have a couple of issues with Kiva, but nothing that (as yet) would stop me using them.

It is run a bit like the UK peer to peer lending organisations, Zopa and Funding Circle, but Kiva is a not for profit organisation. Kiva allows individuals to loan small amounts of cash to real people. $25 via Paypal deals you in.

The people are  requesting loans to run a business or generally improve their life. Just like in the UK.

The default rate is evidently 1.8%. Which is pretty good. Of course if they default then they don't get another loan. But almost to a man (or woman) they don't default. Which must give us all a bit more faith in humanity.

For Billothewisp there is to be no more "charity" to poor Africans, but there will be loans. I am going to give a hand up not a hand out.

It is a pity that my pay is going to be drained of another £500 so the fats cats in the DFID can go and squander it at home or in foreign parts.

Believe me, with Kiva I think even my 2 year grand-daughter could do a better job with my £500 than the DFID.

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