Have you ever participated in a microloan program? It’s the coolest way to give back, pay it forward, and help boost the businesses of micro farmers and business people in all corners of the globe. I for one have been a longstanding Kiva.org supporter and have gifted loans to friends who in turn loan money to the folks in South America, Asia, the Balkans, Africa, India, and many other regions. That’s why I was glad to learn about Milaap and how it is celebrating its fourth birthday TODAY on an impressive global scale. Having just learned about Milaap myself, this infographic below may be the best and most efficient method to inform you. Here’s the scoop from the news release recently issued: On June 16, 2014, its fourth anniversary, Milaap invites change agents from around the world to join in a global, round-the-clock online conversation on sustainable giving using #Milaap4Hope. This unique 24-hour event will be hosted across three countries and a range of social networks, beginning at 6:30 am IST on June 16, 2014 (9 pm EDT on June 15, 2014). To learn more about and participate in this unique online event, please visit http://blog.milaap.org/digitalbirthday. What I liked enough about this program to blog about it is the tactical elements straight from public relations being used to celebrate a global birthday, headquartered in India, across multiple time zones. It takes a yeoman’s effort to orchestrate such a feat, and that’s the beauty of this program. Not to mention, in nutshell, extracted from its news release: “Unlike other fundraising platforms, Milaap blends microlending with crowdfunding, giving investors from around the world the ability to both lend and/or create personal fundraisers for India’s working poor. Starting at just US $25, individuals can fund basic human needs such as safe drinking water, clean energy, and hygienic toilets. They can also help pay for education, or provide seed money for small businesses. In 2014, Milaap’s flagship campaign is “The Hope Project” by which, in partnership with the ASSET India Foundation, it aims to raise $100,000 in loans for former Devadasis. Pronounced “day-vuh-daah-see,” and meaning “servant of God,” these women are hereditary temple dancers often forced into prostitution and marked by societal stigma. Funded by The Hope Project, these women can now start their own businesses in areas as diverse as cattle rearing, tailoring, and heavy equipment maintenance. These newly turned rural entrepreneurs —91% of whom are illiterate—are now self-reliant, supporting their families with a new lease on life.”
What You Can Do
Every day we have the opportunity to support people who need us. When you think of just $25, it’s highly affordable, and it provides the opportunity for oppressed women to launch a new lease on life in business. I encourage you to consider tweeting this story to encourage your network to join in the global digital birthday for Milaap. Whether you’re just learning about it as I am or you’re already familiar doesn’t matter. The mission and the opportunity to join international forces to finance micro businesses that need us are the most critical. Please consider how critical your $25 is to these women who need our help. It’s a little bit of crowdfunding to celebrate a digital birthday.