I’m a big fan of KIVA and have been a lender of it since it’s early stages. KIVA is a non-profit organization which does micro-financing in developing nations. A few years back KIVA also added India to its portfolio. That made me very happy because I think there are a lot of people in India that could use such a service.
Recently I got a newsletter from KIVA which had this story. Of course it shows how much good KIVA did but more than that it shows the resolve of this woman and that made my heart so happy. I wanted to share this story with one and all because I think it can be an inspiration for each one of us.
Sabitri was born without working legs. She learned to carry her body around primarily on her arms, and at 34, her upper arms muscles are so strong they resemble those of an American football player. She is dedicated to supporting herself and her family. For nearly 10 years she has worked alongside her brother as a government contractor, selling highly subsidized rice and kerosene to the families in her village living below the poverty line. Her brother is in charge of transporting items to and from the market, while Sabitri runs the shop out of the two rooms in the front of their house.
Last year, Sabitri applied for a loan from Kiva through People’s Forum to expand her business to include the sale of aluminum pots and containers, which are staples in all kitchens in Odisha. In a short amount of time, her daily income has jumped from 3,000 INR (about $50 USD) a month, to between 8,000 and 10,000 INR a month. She has invested some of these increased earnings in her business and family expenses, but she is using most of it to build a new home to live in with her brother, his wife, and their two children. A huge improvement from the single room they currently share, a new home with three rooms would provide them with much more space.
You can donate to KIVA in multiples of $25; you would be surprised to see how far your $25 go!