Make Change While The Sun Shines- Meet Our Kiva Entrepreneur For August
Settling back into our copy cave this week after what was officially the hottest late August bank holiday for half a century, our minds are naturally still on sunshine.
It was a logical decision, then, to make our Kiva loan for this month to Joel from Nicaragua who is seeking a loan of $975 in order to buy a photovoltaic solar system to use on his small farm.
Nicaragua is the second poorest of the Latin American countries after Haiti, with two out of three men in rural communities struggling to survive on around US$1 a day.
To make matters worse, most energy companies and micro-finance institutions won’t work with these communities, deeming the operational costs too high and the risks too great. As a result, communities like Joel’s are forced to rely on traditional fuels such as kerosene for power.
This type of fuel is not only costly - Nicaragua does not produce oil itself so is reliant on foreign imports- and harmful to the environment but can be hazardous for the families using it too. Schwab Foundation reports that since being able to “set aside an oil lamp to use clean and renewable energy…Many sad stories of children disfigured by burns have been prevented by using photovoltaic energy.”
Kiva’s field partner Tecnosol, who will facilitate Joel’s loan, is committed to providing clean, safe renewable energy to communities who would otherwise be living off-grid.
As Kiva puts it, “by believing in rural borrowers, Tecnosol is helping to alleviate poverty and change lives” - all through the power of the sun.
We’re delighted to help Joel make his farm more productive, safer and kinder the the environment, and will be watching his progress with interest. If you too want to contribute to his cause, you can do so here.
About the Author: Alice Perry
Alice is Inkspiller’s project manager. She oversees all that we do, and thinks there is no task that can’t be improved by the making of a bulleted list.