Rather than investing in AdWords, we at Jama contribute a portion of our marketing budget as loans to Kiva in support of entrepreneurs in the developing world. Because whether you’re in Cambodia or the United States, we’re all entrepreneurs.
We’d like to dedicate our Blog Action Day post to the good Kiva.org does in helping entrepreneurs and raising issues of awareness, including lack of clean water.
Kiva hosts a program called “Kiva Fellows.” These Kiva Fellows post from around the world about the “realities and impacts” of microfinance. Even just a brief search for water-related issues within the Kiva Fellows’ blog posts (on fellowsblog.kiva.org) lists thousands of results.
Casey Unrein, a Kiva Fellows member, posted about his experience in Trujillo, Peru. He writes that the locals can’t even drink the tap water, and they have to boil it. Water can be contaminated across the purification system, and the government and private utility providers “have not invested substantially in ensuring that potable water actually proves to be potable.” He continues:
“Partially as a result of Peru’s weak water treatment facilities, the infant mortality rate in Peru is 28.62/1,000 compared to 6.22/1,000 in the USA.Here in Peru a sick individual must purify their water in order to promote recovery, a mother must constantly work to ensure her baby doesn’t drink his/her bath water and flushing a wound in the case of first aid may introduce the bacteria that it was meant to remove.”
Another Kiva Fellow, Lori Gibson, wrote about her experience in Guatemala. In her post, she explains that although her office has Internet (including wi-fi), the home across the street is an adobe structure with no running water or heat. Throughout her post, she discusses the astounding disparities between people of Guatemala.