A week or so ago, I challenged the readers of Net Cotton Content to send money for us to spend on Kiva.com, a global charitable microlending website.

Thanks to loyal and generous readers John, Rachel, Emily, Abbie, and Michelle (and your humble writer for rounding up and paying the PayPal transaction fees), we have loaned $150 — $50 each — to the following entrepreneurs.

Guinea Pigs in Peru!
Our 12-year-old son helped pick this worthy entrepreneur…

230181 Concepción is a 64-year-old married father of four children, who no longer
live with him. Only he and his wife live at home.

Ever since he was
young, he has worked in agriculture, growing hectare upon hectare of
potatoes. However, ever since he noticed that his daughter was
prosperous in raising guinea pigs, he decided to enter this field. His
daughter then gave him some of her guinea pigs, and he enthusiastically
built cages for them.

Now that his neighbors know that he is raising
guinea pigs, they order some from him. When his daughter travels, he
takes advantage of it, sending her however many guinea pigs she can
sell. He also helps his daughter to cultivate her farm.

Growing crops
is difficult, which is why he only does it for personal consumption.
Raising guinea pigs, on the other hand, is more lucrative. This is his
second loan with Microfinanzas PRISMA [the local Kiva partner]. He has made his payments punctually.

With this
loan, he will purchase barley for planting, which serves as food for
the rodents. He will also purchase fertilizer for his potato farm with
the other part of the loan.

Translated from Spanish by Elizabeth Casian, Kiva Volunteer

Concepción has requested total funding of $650. With our $50, he is within $100 of the total amount requested.

Strawberries in Palestine!
Alisa helped select this worthy entrepreneur…

229663 Suzan Hamoudeh is 26 years old, married, and has four young children,
all under eight years of age. Suzan and her husband live in a small hut
with their children, her mother-in-law and father-in-law, and her
husband's two young brothers who are still in school. 

The main source
of income for the entire family is a small piece of land on which Suzan
grows strawberries. Suzan’s husband works as a messenger in a mail
office, but his income is not enough to feed and cloth the entire

Suzan is requesting a loan of $1,000 to purchase additional
strawberry seedlings in order to expand her farm and thus increase the
income she contributes to support her family. She says thank you to all
Kiva lenders for their financial support.

Suzan is within $25 of her total funding request.

A Butcher in Azerbaijan!
As a recovering vegetarian, I rather like this fellow.

Djahid Suleymanov
(his father is pictured) is married and has 3 children. He is an
Internally Displaced Person (IDP) from the Armenian-occupied territory
of Azerbaijan's Fuzuli town and lives in the Fuzuli region's Bala
Bahmanli village.
He was born in 1958.

Djahid and his father have run the butcher
business for 5 years. Now they need a loan of 800 AZN to buy meat to
improve their business.

Djahid needed $1,000 and our $50 completed his request. He is now fully funded. Off to the beef market!

Djahid's repayment schedule is 12 monthly payments, starting with $83.34 due January 15, 2009.

I'll keep you posted on what I hear from our micro entrepreneurs.

So, here's the first update
While I was typing this post, other donors made separate gifts. Now Suzan is also fully funded.

Please remember: these are real people, living valid lives, in color.