The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Kiva to be Introduced to Taiwan


Pointing to a personal graph comparing his salary to his happiness rate, David Tsai laughed and explained, “Although my salary has been going down, I feel much happier where I am now.”
Mr. Tsai was previously a loan officer at Cathay bank among various business and banking jobs, and he is newly a Kiva fellow for Greater China and Taiwan.
Kiva is a non-profit organization that combines the concepts of crowdfunding (a big loan comprised of many small loans) and microfinancing (lending financially to businesses lacking access to banks). In doing so, underprivileged people who need money can undertake their own enterprises without the demanding requirements they normally cannot fulfill from a traditional bank.
Kiva uses technology to innovate microfinancing, which is why the entire platform is a web-based community. Through the website, lenders can click on borrowers’ stories and read about their plans for how they intend to make use of the money. After a loan is made out by a lender (as little as $25), the borrower then makes it his or her goal to pay back the full amount, currently at a return rate of 98.66%.
This year, which is Kiva’s 10-year anniversary, a grand total of over $744 million USD in loans has provided agriculture, food, retail, and more to 83 different countries around the world.
David Tsai’s mission now is to bring Kiva to Taiwan and involve both borrowers and lenders from the country. Mr. Tsai’s role as a Kiva fellow means he serves as “Kiva’s eyes and ears,” working directly with field partners in China and prospective new partners for Kiva in Taiwan. His goal for the Kiva Taiwan project is to connect Taiwan with the world. He wants the global internet community to read about beautiful entrepreneurship stories from the Taiwanese and for them to support the Taiwanese through loans and with “love.”
Kiva presents an exciting, modern platform for practically anyone to help create opportunities for underprivileged people across the world. An interesting alternative to donating money, Kiva allows its lenders to be repaid and then use that money to fund another person’s cause. Its online medium makes it easily accessible and incredibly easy to contribute to changing others’ lives.
Hopefully one day we can, through Kiva, access the lives of those in need located in Taiwan and lend them a hand. But, for now, where will your $25 go?

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