I've been paired up with Deki, which is the first UK person-to-person microloans charity; Instead of giving 'aid' they give loans to people from Togo, Malawi, Ghana and Nepal so that they can set up or expand their own businesses and access training and support - this allows people to preserve their dignity, as they are not receiving a hand-out, but a fair loan that needs to be repaid.
How does it work?
Anyone can lend from as little as £10. You can even raise funds as a group (e.g. a work place or school). It's is a very engaging way of giving because you can pick the person you want to support. Also your money goes to that specific person and not to an obscure charity pot.
Before they receive a loan, each applicant goes through a process of basic training and the testing of their business idea - it's in everyone's interest that their idea is solid. All being well, you'll get the money back, when the loan is repaid (although there's no guarantee of this) and you can then reinvest the money to help someone else.
Watch this animation to find out more:
This You Tube clip shows some of Deki's success stories.
What sort of people need a loan?
Deki's website features many people who have started their own businesses and want to expand them. These include stall holders, food vendors, dress makers and many more besides. People just like you and I, who want to be financially self-sufficient and to provide the best future they can for their families.
It's been a difficult decision to make, but I've chosen one particular person to lend to, and I'm asking you to consider lending to the same person, to try and make a difference together. I've decided to support someone who despite living in very different circumstances to me, has a lot in common with me.
Leontine lives in Lome, Togo. She's the same age as me and like me, is married with two children. She sounds like a bit of a foodie, as she used to be a fruit retailer but now has a little stall selling rice, yams and cooked food. She's asking for a loan of £390 so that she can buy stocks of oil, beans, rice and yams to grow her business. Leontine wants to provide her children with a good education and maybe one day have her own home.
If you have the Time to Share, please join me in raising money for Leontine's loan, by sharing this post and visiting her page on Deki's website.