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!
09 June 2012
Meet the Team: Mark Taylor
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Mark Taylor and I'm a Genealogist. Now that I've confessed to being an obsessed, computer bound, eccentric name collector, I feel better already. I run a BMW Dealership at Bundoora in North East Melbourne, and am therefore able to continue my childhood passion of playing with cars. I also love bird watching (there I go confessing again), playing tennis, and my 3 girls.
How did you hear about the Genealogists for Families project?
I read about GFF on the 'Australian Genealogy' Facebook page, and lent my first $25 to a Mongolian seamstress seeking funds for a new sewing machine.
What do lending and participating in this project mean to you?
I have always been concerned that overseas charity donations are consumed by administration. Kiva is a brilliant grassroots way to see your money at work, and gives you the choice of how much you give to admin.
Did you choose particular borrowers because their occupations or situations have some significance in your family history or your own life?
In choosing a borrower, I prefer to lend to families with children. I enjoy reading the business plans to find those I think will succeed. Now I also look at social needs, and I'm covering the globe. South and Central America done, Africa next. I'm trying to keep 50:50 on gender too.
Is there a borrower whose success story inspired you?
The borrowers are all inspiring in some way. I felt strongly for the Colombian locksmith whose tools were stolen. He had to borrow to replace them. I hope he locks these ones up!
Do you have a strategy for raising funds or saving for your $25 loans?
In today's economic climate, saving is important. I know that most of what I lend I can eventually get back if I need it, so for me Kiva is a form of saving. The social interest rate is far higher than the banks', and with our dollar falling, I may even make a profit. To reinvest of course! I started out thinking that I would make a loan every 2 weeks. That has changed to once per week, and I have been reinvesting repayments on top.
Web address of your Web site or blog?
Your main family history research interests?
Albiston, Barrie, Carbines, Fillan, Hayhow, Lilley, McCallum, Sheerman, Waldram. I've found famous artists and actors, murderers, murder victims, preachers, banned authors, AFL stars, champion jockeys - and agricultural labourers. I've seen family feuds dissolved, birth families found, heirlooms rediscovered, tears shed. It started as a tree full of names. Now they are telling their stories.
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!