Become a Small-Time Banker; End Poverty

Nick Kristof's column today illuminates one very easy way you can help developing nations with only $25. Kiva.org allows you to become a microfinancier. You're technically not even donating the $25, just lending it.

Kristof writes, The local group, Ariana Financial Services, has only Afghan employees and is run by Storai Sadat, a dynamic young woman who was in her second year of medical school when the Taliban came to power and ended education for women. She ended up working for Mercy Corps and becoming a first-rate financier; some day she may take over Citigroup.

"Being a finance person is better than being a doctor," Ms. Sadat said. "You can cure the whole family, not just one person. And it's good medicine — you can see them get better day by day."

Small loans to entrepreneurs are now widely recognized as an important tool against poverty. Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his pioneering work with microfinance in Bangladesh.


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