We enable people without access to traditional banks (including many women) to expand their businesses, educate their children, save for the future and raise themselves out of poverty. Through Kiva, a non-profit organisation working with microfinance institutions, you choose a borrower to support with a loan of just $25. Similar loans by other lenders are combined until the required total is reached. As your money is repaid you can withdraw it or lend it to someone else. Money that is loaned over and over again does more good than a one-time donation. Join 'Genealogists for Families' - together we are making a difference!

23 February 2012

Meet the Team: Meryl Naismith

This week's guest post is by Genealogists for Families team member Meryl Naismith from Victoria, Australia.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Although originally from Melbourne, Australia, I now live at Stawell. It is a country town in Victoria with a gold mining history and a working mine. Since 2005 I have been retired. Prior to that I was a teacher and Student Welfare Counsellor.

What do lending and participating in this project mean to you?

There is so much need and to be able to help families help themselves is a privilege.

Did you choose particular borrowers because their occupations or situations have some significance in your family history or your own life?

My first loan was for quarrying. Many of my forebears were quarriers and brick makers. It is a hard life but I note that the borrowers are on their third loan. Kiva is helping make a difference. My second loan was to a man in Iraq. I have taught students who came to Australia as refugees from Iraq. I know the stories.

Do you have a strategy for raising funds or saving for your $25 loans?

So far I have made two loans and sent five Kiva gift cards. I am watching repayments and will add some more soon to help another family.

Your Web site or blog?


What are your main family history interests?

Mostly I am tracing my family, and descendants, who arrived in Australia in the 19th century. There are many. Additionally I like to help others with their research. It delights me that I keep finding people with whom I share family connections - however loose.
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!


  1. Meryl, A great post; nice to meet you!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Meryl. It's interesting that you taught children who were refugees from Iraq.

  3. It's interesting to see how your teaching links to Iraqi students have motivated your Kiva lending. Good to meet you Meryl.

  4. Thanks all. I have a 3rd loan. Will write later


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