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!

19 April 2012

Meet the Team: Fiona Basile

This week's guest post is by Genealogists for Families team member Fiona Basile from Queensland, Australia.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Currently I'm a full time parent to 3 teenage boys. I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland. My hobbies, apart from annoying our ancestors, include craft activities and catching up with friends.

How did you hear about the Genealogists for Families project?

I was researching family history on the Internet, landed on Judy Webster's site, and the rest is history!

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

I've always liked the idea of giving those in need a hand up, rather than a hand out. I love watching the progress as the borrowers benefit from their loans.

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

I don't have a particular method of selecting borrowers. Often it will be something in their profile that strikes a chord. For example, I grew up on a dairy farm and one of my loans is to a farmer. Another loan is to a mother, trying to educate her children. That's something of a priority in my life too.

Is there a borrower whose success story inspired you?

They all inspire me!

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

I decided I would make four loans initially, then would finance more as these were repaid. Well, the first payments came in, amounting to $15, and I couldn't wait! My saving strategy is to go without something, say a café coffee, and watch the savings build.

Your Web site or blog?

Dance Skeletons (http://danceskeletons.blogspot.com/).

Your main family history interests?

My main interests at the moment are Tasmanian Convicts and Quakers. Surnames include Hortin, Pearson and Taylor.
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!

7 comments:

  1. Fiona, I totally agree with your comment about people wanting a hand up, not a handout. Thanks for being part of Genealogists for Families. It was lovely to meet you at our team get-together, and I look forward to catching up with you again in the not-too-distant future.

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  2. Thanks, Judy! It's a pleasure belonging to this group and I'm looking forward future group gatherings.

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  3. It was great to meet and chat at the team get-together and we will have to organise something again soon! I have also been enjoying your blog posts.

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    1. Thank you, Helen. Blogs certainly are a great way to see what everyone's up to.

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  4. Good to hear more about you Fiona, and how you support Kiva. I find Kiva quite addictive ...not sure it's meant to be, but there you go. Happy hunting with your research.

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    1. Pauleen, I know what you mean about Kiva being 'addictive' - in a nice way, of course. Choosing a borrower often sends me off on a tangent to learn about their country or occupation. For example, 'abaca weaver'... I had to find out what abaca is! Through Kiva I have learned a lot about geography, history and different cultures. (If only school had been that interesting!) It's great that many Genealogists for Families team members encourage their children or grandchildren to help choose a borrower.

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    2. Isn't it interesting, Pauleen, reading about how we work with Kiva? I'm sure a Kiva addiction is not something that needs treating!

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