Help Alleviate World Poverty With The “BLOG WITH HEART” Challenge

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By Mary Jaksch

Do you feel concerned about poverty in the world? Would you like to do something to alleviate world poverty?

Alleviate world poverty? That’s a tall order! There is so much grinding poverty in the world – how could one person possibly make a difference? But what if we join forces, you and I and lots of bloggers and their readers – that might work, don’t you think?

The Blog with Heart Challenge 2009/ 2010

Bloggers Mary Jaksch of Goodlife ZEN and Arvind Devalia of Make it Happen have joined forces in order to host the Blog with Heart Challenge 2009/2010.

Which blog community has the greatest heart? Each blog is invited to join a friendly challenge to alleviate poverty during the month of December 2009. The top ten will be the nominated winners of the Challenge.

The best ways to alleviate poverty is to give people a hand-up, not a hand-out. That’s why the Blog with Heart Challenge 2009/2010 is joining forces with Kiva, a highly respected micro-lending non profit organization. In an article published in FORTUNE magazine, you can read that Kiva is the toast of Oprah, the Today show, and Bill Clinton’s latest book, Giving.

Kiva is a non-profit website that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur in the developing world. You choose who to lend to – whether a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, a restaurateur in Cambodia, or a tailor in Iraq – and as they repay the loan, you get your money back. ( Kiva has a high success rate of repaying the loans, but Kiva doesn’t guarantee repayment nor do they offer a financial return on one’s loan.)

Here’s how it works

Each participating blogger joins Kiva and forms a lending team that carries the blog’s name. (If you’re a blogger who wants to participate, click here for details on how to enter your blog).

The readers then join their blog’s lending team. If you join your blog’s lending team, you can work together to alleviate poverty. Once you’re a part of the team, you can choose to have a future loan on Kiva “count” towards your team’s impact. The loan is still yours, and repayments still come to you – but you can choose to have the loan show up in your blog team’s collective portfolio, so your team’s chance of winning the Blog with Heart Challenge 2009/2009 will grow!

Dates

The challenge runs from 1 to 31 December 2009. At the end of the month, the top ten blog whose lending group has lent the most per subscriber during this month will be the winners of the Blog with Heart Challenge 2009/2010. So, it doesn’t matter how big or small the blog is – each one has an equal chance.

How YOU can join the challenge – (It only takes two minutes)

Step #1 Register: Go to the www.kiva.org and register.

Step #2 Join a lending team: Click on COMMUNITY in the navigation bar. Look for the box: ‘Search for a lending team’ and put the name of your favorite blog into the searchbox. Note: If you can’t find your favorite blog, write to the blogger and ask them to join the challenge! Scroll down and push the “JOIN TEAM’ button.

Step #3 Lend: Click on LEND in the navigation bar. Choose a group or person you would like to lend to. Click on “Lend $25″ under the description. Click: “Loan added! Checkout>>” (This line appears when you click on “Lend $25″)

Step #4 Boost your team: On the ‘My Basket’ page. In the upper right hand part it says: “Count towards team:” put the name of your blog team in the box below.

Step #5 Pay: Click on ‘CONTINUE’ and you’ll be taken to the secure payment page.

Step #6 Enjoy lending a hand (and money) in order to alleviate poverty

Are you game? We are!

Please help to make the Blog with Heart Challenge 2009/2010 a great success for people wanting to climb out of poverty. You can help by telling all your friends about it by email, or Twitter, or on Face Book, or other social media. Don’t forget to email to your favorite bloggers about the Challenge and get your friends to join. (Arvind and Mary are going to encourage friends to join Kiva and lend some money instead of  Christmas presents.)

Together, we can do it!

If you need help with the challenge, please email Arvind or Mary here: BlogWithHeart[at]gmail.com

Disclaimer

Neither Mary nor Arvind have a financial involvement with Kiva – other than being enthusiastic lenders. We’ve checked Kiva out and it seems to be a solid and respectable non-profit organization. Please understand that you become a Kiva lender at your own risk and that we offer no guarantees for Kiva, or for your investment. If you are unsure about whether to join, just google “Kiva” and you can read about the personal experience of other lenders. There are also an impressive array of news articles on the Kiva website.

Arvind has collected some great Kiva videos for you here.

As the hosts of this Challenge, Goodlife ZEN and Make it Happen won’t be participating. But our lending teams are up and running and very active.

Let’s do something about world poverty – together.

Take action now and complete the steps above. Then email your friends and get them to follow your example.

Let’s make it happen!

Mary Jaksch and Arvind Devalia