Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kiva for college

Regular readers know I am big on aggregation models for philanthropy (as well as innovation). You take lots of people, ask each for a little bit and good things usually happen. Kiva led the way with this a few years back and now there are many similar programs, like SmallCanBeBig or WorldFlix. I'm sure there are many others by now, because the process works and the technology is there to enable the great idea.

I was watching a show on Hulu last night and this in-your-face ad popped up about someone who couldn't go to college because he couldn't pay the tuition.

All $700 of it.

That got my attention, as did the charity name: vittana.org So, I went, checked it out, looked for some background and found articles on it not only from the New York Times but also the Huffington Post.

As with Kiva, you lend money, though in this case to a non-US student (through an in-country intermediary). The student goes to school, hopefully graduates, gets a job and pays you back.

Are there issues of concern? Of course. But it's a great idea and another way to help international development.

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