This month through KIVA we are investing in a young Samoan mother's business. Povalu Lova is a 25-year-old woman who lives in the town of Falseela Samoa. She is married and has a baby. Her main source of income comes from planting and harvesting taro for sale. Taro is a starchy tuber which is a staple food in the Pacific Islands. Povalu has been engaged in raising taro for less than one year and earns approximately 500 WST a month ($215 Canadian or $195 US).
A small loan in 2008 enabled Povalu to buy soil amendments to improve her field. She has paid that loan back and now has asked for a second loan to purchase gardening tools and supplies. She will use the money she earns to support her family and improve their living conditions.
KIVA allows individuals like us, who may only have a few dollars a month to spare, to pool funds with other micro-investors and provide loans to hard-working small business people around the world. As they repay their loans our investment will be returned to us, and we can invest it in another business, and thus help another person. Today a payment was made by the first person we lent money to, and it was credited to our account. We immediately put it back into circulation as part of the sum we lent to Povalu.
Unlike "aid" money handed over between governments, which often ends up in the pockets of corrupt politicians, this money goes directly to the borrower, where it is needed, and we feel privileged to be able to help. We are all connected.