Over the weekend, I watched a documentary called "Living On One Dollar" about a group of 4 college kids who head to rural Guatemala and live on the average wage of roughly $1 per day. It was in that movie that I was reinvigorated to get involved in humanitarian efforts and somehow it led me here. Certainly, I think there is a necessitation for generous donations, but often think charitable donations can be much more effective on a macro level than a micro level. That is to say, feeding a crowd of homeless works well on a large scale, but simply gifting a crowd of homeless an equal sum of money probably won't achieve much unless you sit down with them individually to discuss how to best manage the money for their needs - but then you have to remember the Chinese proverb of "if you give a man fish you'll feed him for a day, if you teach him yo fish you'll feed him for a lifetime" - and I think that is where humanitarian lending comes into play. One of things that has often allowed many countries to proper is access to easy capital through lending, and multiplied with interest growth, credit has allowed certain countries to prosper. In the United States, while debt is often the topic of concern, easy access to credit is also what allows us to grow technology and business at an extraordinary pace. Credit has allowed people to follow their dreams, take risks in starting businesses, and many times become very successful as a result - perhaps providing jobs for others along the way. What's interesting for other countries is that often the initial risk of starting the business is not the problem, it is access to capital to grow the business that holds people back. I look at the projects here and see so many already self-employed small businesses owners such as farmers or seamstresses or shop owners and in the US, that tends to be the most difficult part - actually taking the plunge to become self-employed. Yet, being self employed seems to be necessitated elsewhere in the world to put food on the table so the problem here isn't of certain business models being unproven, its business models with untapped potential due to limited funding. And that's sort of the way I perceive Zidisha and why I'm excited to be involved. Just because I'm not providing someone a free handout doesn't mean I'm not helping them and I think there truly is such a thing as humanitarian lending. Obviously, some lenders will gain and some lenders will lose some money along the way, but what the interest allows is for more and more money to be placed into working capital for future loans, exponentially increasing growth. And along the way, the borrowers can know that they did it by their own merits, not necessarily through charity, but they're own hard work. Anyways, I look forward to lending with everyone and getting involvrd in some unique and rewarding projects if only as a financial backer and mutual beneficiary.