Recently a few researchers in the US needed to embark on a new indoor/outdoor solar-powered aquaponics self-sufficiency project. They needed funding at least to help get the project going.
The project includes a fish and vegetable production system, but also an optional solar power system, LED grow lights, possibly a do-it-yourself (DIY) greenhouse, and a methane digestion system for hot water and winter heating of the greenhouse.
They needed a loan, and offered interest for it, complete project documentation, and guaranteed repayment in 90 days or less.
The end product of all of this, besides a good fish and vegetables production system, will be self-sufficiency education: video and ebook documentation, plus kits and supplies.
Well, I’ll admit I don’t have a lot of money, but I’m happy to say that today I sent them a loan.
Nobody is bragging about the United Micronations Multi-Oceanic Archipelago (UMMOA) making the loan, in the manner of the Intermicronational Team Kiva page. While it is true the UMMOA Treasury is not completely penniless, its treasury is not, in reality, in US dollar form.
One also needs to take note of the following significant fact.
Total money lent so far by all 15 micronations or micronational leaders of the Intermicronational Team Kiva: $1,100.
Total money lent in a single loan by myself for the self-sufficiency research project: $800.
Nobody is stating that some UMMOA ‘bank of something’ made the loan either, because the loan was not made with other people’s money, but in a very Fifth Worldish, do-it-yourself way, by funnelling money from several personal bank accounts into a single one, and sending the money to the researchers via PayPal. Sure, it would be possible to form a group of Fifth World or special project microlenders, and whenever a worthy and/or interesting project comes up, the money could be funnelled from multiple accounts, but also from multiple people. However, I don’t expect too many people to do this, because after all, Fifth World microlending, because of its informality, is very risky, and very dependent of the loan recipients’ commitment and honesty.
As with Kiva, no pure donation or charity was used to sustain the self-sufficiency project. At least ideally, I should get my money back, and with a lot more interest than I’m currently earning.
Moreover, while other microlenders may fund cheap traditional business start-ups largely in the Third World, and this does not benefit people in the First World at all, even though our existence is even more in peril nowadays because global recession, and the utter failure of corporate capitalism to produce significant economic benefits for the majority of working people, we lent money in the First World (in South Carolina, to be more precise), and for a risky Fifth World research project, not for some traditional meat-and-potatoes business start-up.
With friends of Fifth World research like this, who needs Fourth World microlending organisations like Kiva?!
Let me also add this: while as a Fifth World microlender in the recent past I have assisted people to even to purchase particular items in Pounds sterling, and was repaid in Euros (I have bank accounts in neither currency!), I do not believe any Fourth World microlender has ever assisted wealthier people is such a fashion, so while with Fourth World microlending there are still two categories of people, microlenders and recipients of microlending, in Fifth World microlending the microlenders and the recipients of microlending are often the very same people.