In 2011 we won an award for Best New Community Project. 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 $5 via Kiva Zip or $25 via Kiva. 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. 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!

01 March 2012

Meet the Team: Carole Riley

This week's guest post is by Genealogists for Families team member Carole Riley from New South Wales, Australia.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live and work in Sydney and have recently changed careers from Information Technology to genealogy. I've just finished my Diploma of Family Historical Studies at the Society of Australian Genealogists, where I volunteer on an increasingly regular basis.

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

I've been lending on Kiva since 2008, and have just made my 27th loan. It's gone from being a thrill whenever I get a repayment to being a normal part of my life. I think it's so important to help people help themselves; they are the ones who will succeed and help their families grow and thrive.

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

When I started I lent only to women, usually in countries I had been to. Now they all seem equally deserving and I don't spend much time at all choosing borrowers. There is usually little connection to my own life, unless you count gender; the majority are still women.

Is there a borrower whose success story inspired you?

I am most partial to the single mothers who are feeding their families as best they can. I grew up in such a household.

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

Not really. I relend when I get enough repaid, or almost enough, and then I kick in the difference. I have no idea how much money I have in the system. A recent Melbourne Cup win resulted in two more new loans!

Your Web site or blog?

http://caroleriley.id.au and http://heritagegenealogy.com.au.

What are your main family history interests?

My mother is Protestant Irish/Scottish and my father is a part-European Fijian, so my interests are many and varied!
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!

4 comments:

  1. Carole, I first heard about Kiva when you mentioned it on Facebook. Thank you for showing me an easy way to continue my Dad's 'do-good' tradition! Thanks, too, for coming up with 'Genealogists for Families' as a name for the project.

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  2. I have recently made my 30th loan and only one has defaulted in all that time. It is so much more meaningful now to be part of a team that makes loans together. Judy, I want to congratulate you on the work you have put into this team and its great success in such a short time.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Carole. It's great that with your 30 loans in three years you've only had one default. When that happens, do they tell you why? I'm curious to know whether I'd find out if (for example) an earthquake or hurricane made it impossible for one of my borrowers to make repayments.

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  3. Carole your long-term commitment to Kiva is an inspiration and combined with Judy's innovation of GFF, we're all able to contribute as a group to others less well off than us.

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