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International Bank of Bob - Book Review

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by Lynne Cargill (subscribe)
I'm a grandmother, a retired teacher, an avid reader who loves historical re-enactment, English Country Dance, writing and Op Shopping. My business is designed to help children experience history through school incursions.
Published April 3rd 2013
Ever wondered whether charity actually helps anyone?
I recently came across a book written about one of my favourite 'charities', Kiva. It's not really a charity - it's a micro finance lender.

Author, Bob Harris, had a large amount of cash that he wanted to use to make a difference to people like ones he'd met who were earning a pittance. At the time he was staying in and reviewing super luxury hotels (this part is fascinating reading).

After a lot of research he came to the conclusion that micro lending fit with his belief of "Teach a man to fish....." .

So to make a long story short - and it is a long story - he lent a huge amount of money to a lot of people and then he later went to visit some of them to see what impact his money had had on their lives.

I actually purchased this book - which is unusual for me as I'm a big fan of libraries. But I don't regret a cent spent. It was an interesting and easy read, written in an engaging style.

Each chapter refers to a specific country, so you can read a chapter at a time if you're a slow reader. The main text is about the journey and meeting the people; there are footnotes for facts and history relating to the area. Sometimes I read these bits and sometimes not.

About a third of the way into the book I starting wishing I could meet this generous and amazing fellow. By the end I almost felt I did know him.

His tale is told with humility and humour. I highly recommend it.... especially if you want to help change the world and are sceptical about how much good an internet money lending programme will do.

The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time" by Bob Harris

See if you can read it and resist joining Kiva.
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Why? Help to change the world
When: Anytime
Cost: $13
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