Two weeks ago we were in Georgia on a recce for World Jewish Relief. Everyone was as warm and welcoming as we had been told they’d be and we learnt a great deal about the work of this great charity and about life in a former Soviet Union country. We also learnt that Georgian bread is really delicious! We even stopped off at a traditional bakery to stare into the coal-fired pit and wonder at how the bread managed to stick so neatly to the edge!
We head back out to Georgia for the shoot on Sunday and we do so knowing that we now have a little stake in one of these ovens. As regular readers of our blog will know, we make a Kiva loan to a project in each of the countries we work in. Imagine my delight when I was looking at who to support in Georgia and came across Beka who is opening his own bakery.
Beka is 24 years old. He lives with his wife and child and his grandfather. Like many young people in Georgia, Beka has struggled with the lack of employment opportunities. But with his Kiva loan he is building his bakery and will purchase his first batch of ingredients.
We really love following the stories of the people we lend to. Deodata in Tanzania was our first loan a year ago and she paid her loan back by the summer. Our second loan was to Nelson in Bolivia in April and his loan was so successful in helping him expand his business that in the summer he took out another loan and has now been able to move from small trading to wholesale trading.
We look forward to seeing how Beka does. And we are already booked for jobs in Bangladesh, Uganda and India this year so we’ll be finding lots more exciting small businesses to invest in.