I was excited about Kiva, because of such high innovation applied to social development. Particularly the opportunity to connect individuals donors to the recipients, which is a point more development projects should focus on .. bypassing the mainstream media, which don’t provide adequate focus on these situations, humanizing people from far off places, and getting people directly, conciously involved.. I choose Femmes de Nder because I felt that assisting women to organize could particularly drive new sorts of social relations and improvments in these male dominated societies.
Overall I am happy, and will probably reloan the money to another group. However, I do wish that the weblog entries came more directly from the recipients, in their own voices, but understand the language and technological barriers. And I’d like more information on the specifics .. are they substantially better off than before? Will there be follow up on how the group is doing in another six month’s time? Has there been any ripple effects? Generally microfinance has been much lauded, but there’s also increasing criticism. Has microfinance generally been as beneficial as hoped? I know these can all be difficult to surmise, especially so soon .. but this will be another challenge for Kiva as time goes on.