FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Atheists Loan $10 Million Globally to the Working Poor
Since August 2008 the community of Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious (AASFSHNR) at Kiva.org have raised $10 million (USD) in interest-free loans to help end poverty. Kiva.org is a US non-profit organization that connects lenders with borrowers, from around the globe, who need a micro-finance loan. Peter Kroll, the AASFSHNR community team leader and founder, commented “Financially, the world is an unfair place. What we are discovering, on the Internet, is the more we engage each other with peer-to-peer technology the fairer the world becomes. We are providing access to opportunities. We feel it’s our responsibility to step up and help shape the world for the better.”
The AASFSHNR community has raised more than any other community on Kiva, followed by the Kiva Christians at $6.4 million.
Most of the world’s poor live without access to banking. Without collateral they cannot arrange for a loan or open a savings account. Kiva.org has made it possible for an ordinary person to proactively contribute to making a positive change to this situation.
Kiva’s co-founder Matt Flannery has put out a call that “now is a time for the world’s privileged to demonstrate to the world’s poor just how compassionate and resilient we are.”
Micro-finance is the brain-child of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohammad Yunus. Yunus realized decades ago, on a visit to a poor village in his country of Bangladesh, that the local people were caught in an endless cycle of debt caused by loan-sharks. He realized what a difference it would make by “removing the barriers faced by the poor so that they can unleash their creativity and intelligence in the service of humanity.”