A little more than one year ago, I was working with Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, a microfinance in the Philippines. NWTF was distributing low-cost solar lanterns to its clients. The clients were prone to constant brownouts due to the poor state of the electrical infrastructure in the rural areas, so the lanterns gave them a way to keep their businesses open after dark or let the children do work after the sun goes down. Having limited access to light, or having to rely on costly alternatives (battery-powered lanterns and kerosene) can really rain on a person’s parade. So, in conjunction with Kiva, we worked to get those loans for the solar lanterns up on the site. On Earth Day 2010, the relationship was consummated and celebrated with a blog post by yours truly on the Kiva blog, which you can see here.
Well, now it is official. Kiva has launched a green loans category on its website (something we were trying to facilitate last year, and succeeded in developing a tool to lower the cost of putting low-cost lanterns on the site). Here is the press release:
Help people live sustainably around the world. Green loans promote clean and renewable sources of energy by funding organic fertilizers, stoves, drip irrigation systems, solar panels, biofuels, and more.
In some countries, families are using solar panels to power their first light bulbs! However very little of the world’s solar production is in use in the developing world. Green loans enable you to invest in environmental sustainability while providing capital to those in need. Not only do these loans generate clean energy, they also promote a more sustainable lifestyle and environmentally friendly habits.
So sign up to Kiva today and do the Lord’s work by helping electrify the non-electrified and do you part to save the world (or something like that).