Giving Back

Hidden Room Originals has committed to lending $1.00 from the purchase of each canvas to women seeking loans from Kiva.org.

Why is this so important to me and to my family?

We are so thankful to live where we do and to have the opportunities that we do, that we have committed to giving back to the global community of women who work diligently in trying circumstances to elevate their family’s standard of living. I believe that helping the Mother to earn a greater piece of the family income directly impacts the family’s quality of life, in particular the fate of her children.  There are certainly many approaches, micro-loans being a popular choice. Micro-loans are loans made in small amounts from various donors (as low as $25) adding up to a total of usually a few hundred dollars. The applicant has been approved for the loan, and may use it for a specific purpose (buying more seedlings to grow and harvest, for example, or purchasing supplies for the clothing or traditional crafts that they make to sell). The loans are managed by a local organization and are paid back regularly. Many of the women return more than once for small loans to continue building their businesses.

According to the authors of Half the Sky:

“Putting money in the hands of women can have a positive long-term effect on the whole family, but women still suffer more from poverty than men.

Women comprise 70 percent of the world’s poorest people and own only 1 percent of the titled land, according to a U.N. report. They suffer not only from unequal access to education and training, but also from discrimination by their employers. The majority of women earn on average about three-fourths of the pay that men receive for doing the same work, outside of the agricultural sector, in both developed and developing countries.

But if greater income equality was achieved across gender lines, this could help decrease poverty through the generations. Studies have indicated that when women hold assets or gain income, the money is more likely to be spent on nutrition, medicine and housing, and consequently their children are healthier. For every dollar a woman earns, she invests 80 cents in her family. Men, on the other hand, invest around 30 cents and are more likely to squander money on alcohol and other vices.”

Our family has been a committed Kiva supporter for several years, and in a continuation of our efforts, Hidden Room Originals will donate $1.00 from each purchase directly to a Kiva micro-loan recipient. Stay tuned for reports on loan repayments and re-loans!