Something New to do with Remittances
Remittances are the lifeblood of the Jamaican economy.
Some US$15 billion has been transferred to Jamaica in the past decade from overseas Jamaicans, keeping afloat an economy that would otherwise be in serious trouble.
Unfortunately, the Jamaican sending cash home is in no position to help determine how their valuable and hard-earned cash is being spent.
Does it go to help Mama pay for her new house? Or is Junior spending it on some bling for his girlfriend to wear to the next Bashment / party?
The Jamaican working 2 jobs in Brooklyn and fighting with the cold, racism and subways has no way to know what is really happening, and whether or not they are really making a difference.
A savvy relative of mine recently turned me on to a link that seems to offer a possible, future alternative.
www.Kiva.org is a website that has been set up to link potential donors with micro-entrepreneurs in the third world that can benefit from receiving small loans.
This seems to be a great idea, and I wonder what it would be like if we were to help Jamaicans abroad to invest in Jamaica, by making micro-loans. The process is a simple one as described at left.
I wonder what kind of difference even US$1billion might have made in the past decade, and how it could be a way to benefit Jamaicans both here and abroad.
Unfortunately, at the moment we are still not a part of the programme -- there is no Jamaican company listed as a partner on the site.
Hopefully that will change soon.
If anyone knows of a local micro-finance organization that could become a Kiva partner, please let me know.