Some days it’s easy to feel helpless. supporting-kivasm

There is so much in the news to feel discouraged about, even more that leaves me feeling hurt and upset. I can tell by the comments and posts in social media that lots of people are feeling the same way. When such tragic things happen in the world, it’s hard to believe that small actions can ever make a difference.

When I start to feel that it’s not possible to change things for the better, I find myself visiting Kiva. If you’re a frequent visitor here, you know I’ve talked about Kiva many times in the past few years. I wrote about Kiva back in May when I set up our Celebrating What Matters team. Our team loans to women entrepreneurs and students, providing support for education and business building. I talk about “our” team, because even if you haven’t joined us officially, your support of The Favor Stylist is what allows me to make these loans. We donate 10% of our profits to Kiva, and to date that is a total of nearly $5,000 lent, through 142 loans in 42 countries. That’s a lot of education and entrepreneurship to celebrate!

A few months ago I was reading about the plight of refugees throughout the world, particularly Syrian refugees. As it happens, reading news and comments through social media doesn’t always help (what a surprise!). So I visited Kiva and discovered that we can now search for loans to support refugees. Last month we made four loans to women in Azerbaijan—Sahiba, Hayat, Farida, and Gulchohra—all of whom live in a refugee settlement in the Bilasuvar region. They are all looking to expand agricultural businesses, buying fruit trees, fertilizer, chickens, and other supplies to help support their families. These four loans are small, but they help four women who have been displaced from their homes by war. And it’s a small way to feel less helpless in a world full of conflict.

I know that Kiva helps me to remain hopeful when the news can seem bleak. Are you discouraged and upset by what’s happening in the world? What do you do to stay hopeful?