Travis, Kiva, Libraries, Mom
A couple of Christmases past I gave each of my grandchildren a sum of money on the stipulation they "invest it with the charitable micro finance program, Kiva. I am not sure this was warmly accepted as a valid Christmas gift but the kids were gracious about it and followed through.
I had been talking about this for a couple of years and I now spoke directly to them and what this organization was doing. I explain it was worthwhile and a different sort of charity. It was a way of directly helping someone (s) by directing your investment in their project and when they pay it back finding other projects to direct your funds toward. The cliche might be "to offer and hand up and not a hand out." I pointed out that this program was an opportunity for them to get something out of it. They could learn a little about other countries and people and the way they live. They could see how for some a small loan of money could make a substantial improvement in their lives. Directly, my grandchildren could see that many, no most, people in the World do not live with the material abundance of privilege they enjoy.. In fact, many people are worse off than even some of the poorest among us.
The three of them did invest in a project and then I heard little more about it. Recently, I asked my son how they did. Where they still doing it. It turned out that the youngest Travis was the most enthusiastic of the the three.
Travis not only invested the funds I gave him he added some of his own funds to the project. Even more significantly he got his class at his school, Ècole publique Jeunesse-Active, involved.. They too invested with Kiva. I was impressed and told his father so. "You have one that has a social conscience!". How great is that. As a result, this year, I gave Travis an additional sum of money beyond his Christmas gift to add to his investment in Kiva
.. I have since learned that his father gave each of the children a sum of money to add to their Kiva investment. When I told this story to Lynne, she was duly impressed and said she would consider sending Travis some more funds to invest. Have we created a "snowball" effect here!
Travis is the big reader and amateur magician in the family. I am impressed with his interest in reading. He mostly reads in English although he is quite capable of reading in French as well.. He has a Kobo eReader .On day he explained to me how he can upload onto his reader books on loan from the local library. They stay on his reader for a couple of weeks, giving him time to read them, and then they disappear (returned to the library,. . sort of in cyber space). Who would have thought this was possible. I hadn't.
How great a Kobo eReader would have been for my mother long ago. She was a big reader and always had several substantial books on the go. When we were little she walked the three of us to the small Port Credit Library to get her arm load of books. Until they were read she did minimal housework. Then with a flurry she got her housework caught up and off again to the Library.. When she exhausted the local library, she took us to the New Toronto Library. This involved a mile walk to the bus stop with the three of us, a bus ride to Long Branch and then a streetcar ride to New Toronto. I still remember that lovely large classic library, so much bigger than the small Port Credit Library. If she had had a Kobo eReader in those days accessing the library would have been so easy and wonderful for her, while living in the country without a car. Then again, I wouldn't have the wonderful memories of going to the library with my mother and learning, by example, that books are important and enriching in one's life. Travis has discover this largely on his own, although he may not have the appreciation I have for the physical book and the delight it brings one beyond the words.
I would encourage others to become an investor in Kiva
. There is a rich range of projects to support with small or large sums of money..