The current series of ‘Foto Friday’ posts are focussing on individuals who are currently working in their own way to try and make a positive difference in the world.
In 2005 Jessica Jackley and Matt Flannery jointly founded Kiva, an internet based person to person microfinance project. Six years later Kiva has issued loans worth more than $240 million to entrepreneurs in the developing world, who have no other access to capital funding, to develop their businesses and lift themselves and their communities out of poverty.
The basic idea behind microfinance is to offer financial services to the world’s poor, that banks generally aren’t interested in offering.
Jessica was inspired by Professor Muhammad Yunis, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on microfinance in 2006, as it gave her a more positive way to respond to the needs of the poor, without feelings of guilt or shame. In this interview with Entrevista she talks about the need to start small in making a difference to the huge problems of the world.
Jessica is a committed Christian and has an interfaith marriage to Islamic scholar and writer Reza Aslan, who works to build bridges between America and the Arab and Muslim world.
I’m a big fan of Kiva – you can view Next Starfish’s profile here. If you’re interested in getting more involved and want to know how I’ve found the experience of being involved with Kiva just drop me a line.
Photo by Michael Dayah, via Wikimedia Commons