We at Clann Bhríde believe that our Lady has called us to works of charity, justice, and compassion. Our Touchstones urge us to “offer generosity and hospitality to those in need, without judgment or expectation of reward” and to “work for peace, freedom, and justice for all.” Our Nine Elements reference Brighid in Her manifestations as Brig Ambue, who advocated for the disenfranchised, and as Brig Briugu, who offered food and shelter to all in need. Because our goddess is generous and calls us to be generous in turn, we are taking the first steps to actively encourage generosity among our members by announcing the Clann Bhríde team on Kiva.
What is Kiva?
Kiva is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is alleviating poverty through microfinance. Entrepreneurs around the world connect with local financial institutions, who vet their clients and establish a loan process. Members of Kiva then lend as little as $25 at a time to finance borrowers’ requests. The “micro” part of “microfinance” means that Kiva users collectively fund these project, often through many individuals donating the minimum $25 amount, rather than one organization like a bank loaning the full amount.
Who uses Kiva?
Kiva sponsors microfinance institutions across five continents. Borrowers are seeking to fund projects such as buying livestock and feed, returning to school, repairing fishing boats and equipment, and switching to clean energy. Fewer than 2% of Kiva borrowers ever default on their loans, with the vast majority repaying their lenders within a year.
Lenders come from all walks of life and donate for a variety of reasons. Lenders have the opportunity to join teams of other like-minded individuals organized around religious groups, charity interests, or even shared hobbies. Teams allow lenders to fund projects together and keep track of everyone’s lending statistics.
How do I get started?
To lend with us, you first need to sign up as a member of Kiva and join the Clann Bhríde team. You control your money at all times, choosing which projects to fund and by how much. To make your contribution count toward Clann Bhríde’s loans, you select our name under the drop-down menu titled “Apply to Lending Team.”
Who you decide to lend to is up to you, but consider making donations toward Brigidine causes such as buying pigs and cattle, promoting education, empowering craftswomen, and providing solar power.