When I was preparing for my Kiva Fellowship in Tajikistan I had to buy one of the most expensive plane tickets of my life. Getting to Dushanbe, the capital, is expensive, at the cheapest its $1,500. I wondered if I could spend this on giving loans on Kiva how awesome that would be. Even if I would give a portion it would be amazing. Then I bought a few books online so that I could be an informed traveler. And of course a few other things. In total, I spent a lot of money shopping in preparation for my Kiva Fellowship. I thought of it as going to a good cause in the end, since I was doing it so I could be a better Kiva Fellow. I only wished some of it had actually gone to Kiva itself.

Now it can.

During my fellowship I’ve also begun to work with a start up called iShop4microfinance.org. iShop4Microfinance is an innovative online portal where socially conscious shoppers can click through to do their normal online shopping, and then whatever they buy, 4% is donated to iShop4Microfinance- at no cost to them! In return, we give this 4% to amazing organizations like Grameen Foundation, Acumen Fund, ACCION International and Kiva. It’s a really great way for people to give back without having to do anything but click. No signing up, just clicking through.

Kiva is special to us at iShop4Microfinance. Besides myself, the President, Brittany Boroian, is also a Kiva Fellow and served in Kenya. As the first online portal for microfinance lending we like to support Kiva and its innovative platform helping people around the world. Out of the 4% we receive, we give 2% to Kiva. 1% as a loan, and the other 1% as a donation to help support Kiva operations.

So whether you are preparing for a Kiva Fellowship or College, getting presents for Christmas or your dogs birthday, your money can work twice as much, getting you the goods you were going to buy on-line, and going to organizations that work with entrepreneurs from all over the world, and all you have to do is click.

After all, what more effective and rewarding way exists to make this world a better place, than to help others as part of your daily life? To do what you love and want to do while knowing that it is helping those around you allows you to give and receive a calming wave of satisfaction in exchange.


Sam Kendall has been a Kiva Fellow in Tajikistan where he has worked with different microfinance organizations and learned a number of amazing things.

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