Eight years ago, Kiva was founded in October 2005, and ever since, we’ve considered October to be the our birthday. This year, we want to take the opportunity to celebrate the connections our lenders are making with borrowers around the world. So we asked our community one simple question: “What made you connect with a borrower on Kiva?” We received an amazing number of responses filled with truly heartwarming and inspiring stories. 
We’ve featured two of these stories every day this week, concluding with our 7th and 8th stories today. 

Our heartfelt thanks to the community for generously sharing so many personal moments. To share yours with the community, we invite you to join the Kiva Stories lending team and post your experiences to the message board. We'd love to hear from you!
Be sure to also read the lender stories from day 1day 2, and day 3 of this blog series.

Kiva lender

I became a Kiva lender in 2007. When I told my 86-year old dad about Kiva, he was very excited about it and wanted to become a member also, but could not afford to make loans at that time. We therefore decided to become a team: I would put up the money, and he would help me choose the loans.

Every time I had some Kiva money to lend, we would sit down together. I would read aloud the profiles of people asking for loans, and he would carefully listen and then say, “Let's pick this one!”

We particularly connected to Dorotea from Bolivia. She was elderly and sold shoes on a city street in order to support her family. Her husband had vision problems and could only help her load and carry the merchandise. That story touched us deeply. At that time, my dad was also losing his eyesight and we connected to that family’s situation on a personal level. With tears in our eyes, we made a loan to Dorotea.

When I would see my dad after making that loan, he would often talk about Dorotea and her husband, and how he was happy that we could help them.

My dad passed away a few months later. Since then, every time I make a new loan, I think of my dad and try to select the ones he would have connected to. And I think of Dorotea and her small shoe stand. She doesn't know it, but she had a great impact on us and she'll be in my thoughts forever.

Kiva lender

Five years ago, my family and I boarded a plane headed across the Pacific. Our destination was Vietnam. It was my wife’s first homecoming to a land she had left under very different circumstances some 33 years earlier. It was for me the most memorable and magical experience of my life. The people were kind and courteous, the landscapes beautiful, and the food delectable.

Until that trip, I had never truly understood what T.S. Eliot meant when he said, “the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” I truly came home a different man than I was before I left.

In search of some way to help a country that I felt had given me so much, I was introduced to KIVA through my good friends and lending team, OneVietnam Network. A few years later, my son joined the Peace Corps and spent two years teaching in a small village in Liberia. I visited him for two weeks earlier this year, and once again found myself mesmerized by a country often described as “impoverished” and “war torn.” I was enchanted by the hospitality of the people and the laughter and smiles on the faces of their beautiful children.

So Kiva asks, "what made you connect with a borrower on Kiva?" For me it’s not a specific borrower, but rather the population of the countries themselves.

In both cases, I had the privilege to ride their roads and hike their footpaths, to see the sun rise and the sun set, and to experience their everyday lives. I left confident that, yes (as the Moody Blues once sang), “from the ashes we can build another day.” And I want to help them accomplish that.

About the author

Amrita Khoshoo

Amrita recently graduated from UC Irvine as a double major in History and Global Cultures. Throughout college, she was incredibly lucky to have volunteered, interned, and studied abroad. She volunteered and interned in India and China over the course of three summers and studied abroad in Spain her junior year. Amrita loves learning about the world, and learning how to help the world is no exception. She is thrilled to be joining an organization that uses innovative and sustainable methods to empower individuals and communities worldwide.