A few days after Christmas I sat down with Maddy to explain what this Kiva Certificate was and how it would work. I carefully explained that she would be choosing entrepreneurs from around the world to loan money to. Before I could get out another word my little Alex P. Keaton hit me with a hyper-excited, "Can I charge interest?". (We're all capitalists in this house.) I had to break her little dreams of investment banking with a 'no', but I explained that Kiva plans to initiate interest in the future.
I really wanted to convey to Madison that she held some power over someones life. She would be choosing to give money to one person and not give money to someone else. It was important to me to impress on Maddy that this carried an intrinsic responsibility and deserved careful consideration and thought. Maddy assured me that she understood.
So we started. I walked through the process and Maddy started looking at entrepreneur pitches. Sure enough, the thirteen year old reared her head. First she wanted to give all $100 to the first pitch she read, when I wouldn't let her do that she wanted to give $25 to the first four... We went through the talk again. I was somewhat disappointed. Maddy had been nodding her head agreeably but it was evident that it would not be as easy to convey the importance of what was going on as I thought. I swallowed and thought of patience as a virtue. We started again.
Over the next hour Madison made 3 $25 loans. Maddy wanted to loan to a woman entrepreneur in Africa so we held off the last loan for a few weeks but that loan was finally made to Evelyn Kwofie who sells computers in Ghana.
I have high hopes for this as a learning experience for my daughter as well as helping the world in some small way. We'll see how it goes.