Hi friends! I wanted to share with you an organization that has impacted my life this year in a big way. For the past 8 months or so I have been volunteering remotely with a microfinance organization called Zidisha. I’ve been wanting to write this post for months but have often stopped myself as I’ve wanted it to be perfect.
So, instead of waiting for the inspiration to come…I will simply share an introduction. At the end of the post I will also include some links with an FAQ and about page. If you’re interested in learning more about Zidisha make sure to read until the bottom. In the future, I am also planning to write additional posts about Zidisha. For example, what I’ve learned so far and what my weekly responsibilities look like as a Zidisha volunteer. So stay tuned for those in the coming months!
To begin, Zidisha provides peer to peer microloans to entrepreneurs around the world, but primarily in Africa. You can go to a borrower’s profile to see their picture, read their story, and find out what business they are either currently running or hoping to start.
Why I love Zidisha?
One of the things I love most about Zidisha is that regardless of whether you have $1,000 or $10 to lend, you can still become a lender and make a big difference. For example, in the photo above, Charles still needs to raise $377 and you can choose how much you want to contribute. Most loans are comprised of small loans by single lenders. This means that when Charles receives his loan, it will be through the effort of many lenders whose loans add up to the full $377 total.
Another incredible feature is that lenders can communicate directly with borrowers. The interface is set up similar to a Facebook profile where the lender can view pictures, read about the borrower and their history, and then comment or leave messages for the borrower.
For the lender, to be able to see the exact person who is receiving their loan and to even be able to communicate with them directly is one of the features that really differentiates the Zidisha experience.
Personally, volunteering with Zidisha is one of the best volunteer experiences that I’ve ever had. From the kindness and gratitude of the borrowers and Volunteer Mentors that we work with in Africa to the other volunteers spread out all over the world, I’m amazed by the generosity and hustle of this growing community.
How to learn more?
I wanted to keep this first post short and simple. So, consider this the first of many future posts about my work with Zidisha.
Until then….feel free to check out these links to learn more:
P.S. For a sneak peek into what I do with Zidisha click here.
Photos Via: Zidisha