A boomerang for good
Imagine having a special boomerang in your hands.
And as you send it out, it sets various dreams into motion. It could be enabling a little girl to finally know what a classroom looks like, or empowering a man with skills, so he can better provide for his family.
As these dreams begin to turn into reality, your boomerang returns to you – either for you to keep, or to send out again.
It may seem like a fantasy, but it's a reality.
That "special boomerang" is a Milaap loan.
Set up in 2010 to give India's working poor a leg up, Milaap is a Singapore-based online crowd-funding platform.
For as little as $25, anyone can offer a borrower a loan that could be life-changing.
No donations of sympathy here, only loans of empowerment.
In our case, we just got repaid our loan by a lice-killer.
In February 2012, our colleague Ashima bought the Our Better World team a Milaap gift voucher, which allowed us to make a loan to Pandiammal, a 40-something mother of two from Trichy, in India's Tamil Nadu state.
Pandiammal and her neighbours had set up a business selling medicinal powder for head lice.
The five women said they would repay their crowd-funded loan of US$910 within 18 months, through instalments.
And true enough, 18 months later, we've gotten back our part of the loan in full, allowing us to choose whether to reinvest in other people working their way to a better life, or to recover our loan.
Pandiammal had taken up the loan to buy in bulk raw materials for her business selling lice-treatment medication.
On a visit in June 2014, Milaap staff visited Pandiammal at her home, from where she sells the medication, and found her to be "very happy with her family", and her business "running smoothly".
Pandiammal's example is not unusual. Over and over, Milaap has seen the positive effects of small loans rippling out from individuals to their families and communities, like in the case of AD Nagendra, a tailor in Bangalore who used his loan to expand his business. It's resulted in more stability for his family and more jobs for people in his community.
With more than a 96% repayment rate and 100% of your loan going direct to the borrower, it's a really good bet as far as investments go.
And let's not forget about the interest on your investment: knowing that someone's closer to their dream because of you.
The boomerang is in your hand. You can choose to send it out.
Milaap provides a platform for anyone to offer loans to India's working poor. The next time you're looking to buy a present, consider a voucher from them. You can trust us when we say it makes a wonderful gift that keeps on giving.
Picture courtesy of Milaap