For every sweatshop-free t-shirt we sell at Skreened, we set aside a dollar to donate in aid in overseas economic development. Initially, we participated in microloans under the Kiva system, but after we found out that Kiva imposes back-breaking interest and fees on almost all of its borrowers, we shifted our giving to grants without interest or fees, offered through other more ethical institutions.
The thing is, as our original microloans are paid back through the Kiva system, we end up with some funds to reinvest. We’re sending those funds to borrowers through Kiva’s only zero-interest, no fee lender, the Nicaraguan institution ADEPHCA. ADEPHCA invests in poor and remote Creole communities along Nicaragua’s coast. Our latest zero-interest ADHEPHCA microloan goes to Carmen Magdalena Mathews Wilson of Bluefields, Nicaragua. The funds she’s borrowing will allow her to buy bulk foodstuffs for her catering business.