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Friday, April 20, 2012

We help some ladies in Tanzania get ahead

The reason I chose to help these ladies is they're from Tanzania and we haven't lent money to anyone in that country yet. I'm trying to fill in the map of Africa. 

The reason I chose to loan at all (had to add $14 to my account to bring it up to a loanable $25) was so I could draw attention to a post from Suzanne, who had some concerns about KIVA. Here's the article, which I think poses some fair questions - David Roodman's Microfinance Open Book Blog

Personally I think KIVA is very transparent in it's operation and accountability - more-so than most and certainly enough for me. They don't skim money from the money we loan (their offices run from separate donations specific to their running costs). Similar topics about pre-payment of loans have been discussed on KIVA itself (I participated in one with other members of the Australia team). Some people were unaware the loans were funded before we loaned them our money and felt in some way ripped off. But most knew and understood the reasons the loans are handled the way they are and the benefits to the very people we're all trying to help.

In the end the points which settled the discussion were: a) without our money, the loans wouldn't happen b) if the loan defaults, we wear the loss. Therefore, no matter how you look at it, they're our individual loans to feel good about.

And now here are the details of the latest loan we're feeling good about :)

"Fatuma, who is in her late 30s, is married with four children. Her children go to school.

She has been selling charcoal for six years now. She explains that she works from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm daily, and is able to make a small monthly profit.
This would be her tenth loan from Tujijenge Tanzania. She used the previous loans, all of which she successfully repaid, to pay for her children's school fees, household expenses, a plot of land, and additional sacks of charcoal. She is seeking this loan to buy more sacks of charcoal. Her dream is to one day be able to build her own house.
She will share this loan with her loan group, named "Songa." The group is made up of 15 members, who will hold each other accountable for paying back their loans."

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About Me

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Bruce Devereaux is one of the nicest people he knows. When not at work he enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies.


His career, and if we used the term any more loosely an e might fall out, has included a gardener, a personal lender, a console operator, a stop/go man (not as big a bludge as you might think but great if you’re into sunburn, abuse and varicose veins), a cleaner of banks and pubs and, for a very brief period, a door to door salesman (until the last door he knocked on was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs).


Bruce Devereaux currently works as a forty-five-year-old award winning customer service officer (glass statuette available upon request) for the Bank of Queensland and as a very casual employee for Corrective Services. He likes to believe he excels at both but then he has always been prone to exaggeration.


His favourite colour is green, with a picture of Dame Nellie Melba on one side and General Sir John Monash on the other. His favourite flower is self-raising.

 If you see him around town, call his wife immediately - he's probably snuck out and left her alone with all the kids.


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