In 2011 we won an award for Best New Community Project. Our goal is to enable people without access to traditional banks (including many women) to expand their businesses, support and 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 (often in monthly instalments), you can withdraw it or lend it to someone else. ($25 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!
02 February 2012
Meet the Team: Shauna Hicks
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm semi-retired after 35 years of working in government agencies, mostly libraries and archives in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. Currently I am a lead presenter with Unlock the Past at genealogy expos, cruises and other events, and in my spare time I do some research and write research guides which have been published by Unlock the Past.
How did you hear about the Genealogists for Families project?
I received a direct email from long time friend and colleague Judy Webster, but at the time I was busy with other things so I put the email into my 'to do' pile. Always a fatal mistake as it sat there until I read another friend's blog, Geniaus, who wrote "It's taken a while". That was the spur that sent me into action and I took up two loans that night and have taken out two more since then.
What do lending and participating in this project mean to you?
To me it seems such an obvious way to assist other people with their businesses or projects without giving straight out charity. The loans are repaid and then you can regive the money to another person or group (and you haven't missed the money so why not).
Did you choose particular borrowers because their occupations or situations have some significance in your family history or your own life?
I selected women who were trying to make a success of their business. In my own life I have been helped at critical times by other women so that was the reasoning behind my original choices. I also picked countries I had been to (eg, Outer Mongolia) or places I want to go (eg, Peru and various countries in Africa). But really choosing is the hardest part as they are all so worthwhile.
Do you have a strategy for raising funds or saving for your $25 loans?
I did take up Judy's strategy of doing surveys to raise the money but I am finding it hard to spend the time doing the surveys. It's probably easier for me to say I won't have a bottle of wine with dinner when dining out (or at home for that matter) and use that money for Kiva instead.
Web site or blog?
Two blogs – SHHE Genie Rambles on my website (www.shaunahicks.com.au) and Diary of an Australian Genealogist (http://diaryofanaustraliangenealogist.blogspot.com/).
Your main family history interests?
A list of my family names are at www.shaunahicks.com.au/my-families/ but my main surnames and places of interest are: Gunderson from Seljord, Telemark, Norway; Johnston from Bailieborough, County Cavan, Ireland; Jeffers from Portadown, County Armagh Ireland; Carnegie from Montrose, Angus, Scotland; Finn from County Wicklow, Ireland; Price from West Bromwich, Staffordshire; Pollard and Judge from Croughton/ Brackley Northamptonshire; White from Farley/Pitton, Wiltshire; Trevaskis and Rosewarne from St Hilary, Cornwall.
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!