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!

29 March 2012

Meet the Team: Roger Moffat

This week's guest post is by Genealogists for Families team member Roger Moffat from Caledonia, Michigan, USA.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a very proud New Zealander who considers Christchurch his home town, even though I haven't lived there in more than 20 years. I'm retired, but was previously Manager of New Zealand's Scott Base in Antarctica, preceded by four years at New Zealand's Campbell Island weather station in the Southern Ocean. I've been pursuing family history since attending a family reunion in 1989. I'm active in the Clan Moffat Society in the USA, and with the Western Michigan Genealogical Society, whose databases website I run.

How did you hear about the Genealogists for Families project?

I joined Kiva in 2011 after seeing some publicity about it on Facebook. Prior to that I had been aware of the organisation and looked over information sent in the mail, but hadn't become involved.

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

It's such a small amount that means so much to those who receive it, and unlike many groups which take your money and then immediately ask for more, with Kiva you get good feedback on the progress of 'your' dollars. And when it's done, you have 'your' dollars back to then lend to someone else.

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

Both of my parents were born on farms in New Zealand, so I tend towards those looking to improve their situations in a farm setting.

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

No, I started with one loan, and when that was half paid back added enough to make another loan. I expect that by the end of a year I might have four loans going.

Your Web site or blog?

Roger's Ramblings (http://LisaAndRoger.com/). It isn't as up to date as it could be as I've tended in the last year or more to use Facebook as my blog - a habit I tell myself I must break.

Your main family history research interests?

My Dad's ancestry is (seemingly) entirely Scottish, and my Mum's is predominantly English, with a line or two of Scottish. Six generations are shown on the pedigree chart on Roger's Ramblings. The surnames of my 8 great grandparents are Moffat, Stoddart, Dewar, Breingans, Lineham, Lansberry, Scarlett and Mulvey/Mulvay.
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!

22 March 2012

Meet The Team: Gary Barton

This week's guest post is by Genealogists for Families team member Gary Barton from Arizona, USA.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Retired Xerox Corporation Marketing Director. I reside in the sunny desert community of Mesa, Arizona, USA (with 100 days of 100ºF temps last year). Since retiring from the editorship of our family association's quarterly newsletter I've become happily involved in the Guild of One-Name Studies (a UK based worldwide organization) and am the Guild's Regional Representative for eight mountain states in the USA.

How did you hear about the Genealogists for Families?

Through Dick Eastman's Newsletter. Hopefully my email signature will reach others (Make a Small Loan, Make a Big Difference! Learn How at www.kiva.org/team/genealogists).

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

It's a meaningful way to 'make a difference' on a limited retirement income.

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

I loaned to a USA borrower recovering from the results of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana. I did so because I wanted to start at home. Unfortunately $25 is a small amount but it was amalgamated with others to reach the borrower's desired $10,000 USD. She's repaying on time.

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

My demographics don't match most Profiler Surveys, but the funds are accumulating slowly.

Web address of your website or blog?

www.garymbarton.com and www.bartondatabase.info and www.one-name.org/profiles/Barton.html.

Your main family history interests?

I'm lucky to have identified 29 of my 32 great-great-great-grandparents, many back 10+ generations: (Denmark) HANSEN; (Germany) STIEGELMEYER, HINNENKAMP, SCHUTTE, OTTE, ZIES, SEVERINGHAUS, MTEZGER, PFAU; (Netherlands) VAN COUWENHOVEN, SCHENCK; (England) STUBBLEFIELD, LOONEY, SKAIFE, GRANGE; (French Canada) LANGEVIN, RAVENELL, MALO; (Ireland) DOOLING, RICKEY.
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!

20 March 2012

The How and Why of Auto-Lending (Tuesday's Tip)

Here is another tip for 'Genealogists for Families' Kiva team members.

Check your account settings now. Do they suit the way you use Kiva?

Many Kiva loans are repaid in monthly installments, but there may be times when you cannot check your Kiva credit on repayment day (for example, if you are travelling, ill or just very busy). To avoid leaving money sitting idle when it could be used for another loan, or to control what happens to your Kiva credit when you depart this life, you can, as a precaution, set up Auto-Lending.

(September 2013: Please see the updated instructions for auto-lending.)
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!

15 March 2012

Meet the Team: Kelli Taylor

This week's guest post is by Genealogists for Families team member Kelli Taylor from Alberta, Canada.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a mother of 2 teenage boys and wife of a very supportive husband. I have a Communications degree and enjoy research, reading and writing, which fits well with my passion for genealogy. I have helped my dad with our family history research for about 15 years. I live in Calgary, Canada and I love my surroundings, with the prairies to the east and the Rocky Mountains to the west.

How did you hear about the Genealogists for Families project?

As a relative newcomer to Twitter, I was fortunate to connect with Joan Miller, who promotes the Alberta Family Histories Society via social media. As a family, we've been with KIVA for a few years, and it's made our involvement more interesting to be part of this group.

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

So far our investments have been related to our personal interests, such as motorcycle transport. We generally loan to people in places we have traveled to, such as Kenya and Ecuador. I may make a few adjustments now, based on some of our team members' loans.

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

So far, no. There are no loans available in places related to my heritage.

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

Usually we roll our coins about every 4-6 months, and that is the money we use to offer loans. We have given KIVA gifts to family and friends for birthdays, Christmas etc., and have encouraged people to find their own connections in order to determine who to loan to.

Web address of your Web site or blog?

http://donandkellijourney.blogspot.com/

Your main family history interests?

Smith (Switzerland), Taylor (England/Ontario), Waite (England or Ireland), Sundell (Sweden), Arnold (England), Lockerbie (Scotland), May (Ireland), Hay (Scotland). We are now using DNA to break down brick walls for Smith and Waite. Fingers crossed!
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!

08 March 2012

Meet the Team: Diane Rogers

This week's guest post is by Genealogists for Families team member Diane Rogers from British Columbia, Canada.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm now mostly retired, but busy. I regularly teach genealogy classes and I volunteer for the British Columbia Genealogical Society. I'm very interested in Canadian women's history and I do love to read, mostly history or mysteries.

How did you hear about the Genealogists for Families project?

I've been a Kiva member since 2008. I just recently happened to notice the Genealogists for Families Kiva project information on Judy Webster's website, while surfing the Internet for Australian newspaper information.

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

I hope in a small way I'm helping someone else to make a positive difference in their life.

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

I believe I've chosen all women borrowers or women's groups. I've been interested in supporting women's projects for a long time, through MATCH, for instance.

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

No - it's just me.

Your Web site or blog?

The main one is CanadaGenealogy, or, Jane's Your Aunt (www.canadagenealogy.blogspot.com). I also have a site about Newdale, Manitoba, Canada where both my mum and grandmother were born (http://newdalembgenealogy.wordpress.com/).

Your main family history research interests?

Researching family currently mainly in Canada, US, UK, and Sweden - Axner, Broström, Carmichael, Cox/Cocks, Eriksson, Gilchrist, Irwin, Löfholm, Rogers, Rydberg, Saggers, Staines, White, Zetterberg.
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!

07 March 2012

Free Trial: new Kiva users get a free $25 loan

Please tell your friends that right now there is a FREE TRIAL offer that lets them join Kiva and make a $25 loan without it costing them a cent!

This is a great opportunity to introduce others to the joys of being a Kiva lender. Details will be on www.kiva.org until the free loans have all been allocated. Invite your friends to give it a try, but be quick!

Those who make a free loan are also welcome to join our 'Genealogists for Families' lending team.

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!