I live in Australia and feel very lucky to live in a first world country.  One of the values James and I want to create in our kids is helping others less fortunate.  We have found a brilliant way to do this, via a website called Kiva, that gives people a hand-up instead of a hand-out while also teaching our kids so many valuable lessons.

Using the Kiva website can help others AND your kids

One of my favourite websites is which is a not-for-profit.  It is used globally and is changing the lives of millions.  It involves “micro lending” to help people who want a small loan.  The loan could be to start their business, keep it going, or to invest in something like education. The loans have over a 99% payback rate, which is much better than most banks!

How we use Kiva

Every 2 months of so the kids and I:

  1. Log into our free account at
  2. See how much money has been repaid by people we have loaned money to.  The first time we used it, we made a deposit of money in to get us started
  3. Click on “lend” and filter the loans in a few different ways.  This helps the kids pick who they want to loan to:
    – my son usually filters by the categories single parents or the environment
    – my daughter usually filters by the category women
    – sometimes they filter on “countries you haven’t loaned to”
  4. They then sort by “amount left” or “expiring soon”.  The kids love lending the last $ needed for someone to secure their full loan amount
  5. Once they have chosen who they will lend to, I then choose the $ amount based on how much we have to lend and go to the checkout
  6. I choose to pay Kiva’s processing costs for the loan and if we have enough money in our account, just process it and that’s it.  If I need to add more money to our Kiva account I can easily do so via PayPal
Here’s why I love Kiva so much:
  • It teaches my kids about giving, but in a way that is a hand-up not hand-out.  We have only had 1 person not pay back their full amount in over 5 years
  • They learn about countries around the world.  We talk about what it could be like living there
  • My kids read the profiles of who they lend to and realise how lucky they are, since some want money to get clean water or a toilet for their family
  • They learn about small business and how these entrepreneurs often borrow money to get their business started
  • When borrowers pay us back, we can then lend it to others. It feels like we are donating over and over – but using the same money!

I realise not everyone has extra money to be able to help others.  However, if you can spare some to help others, this is a great way to do it and teach you kids at the same time.


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