By webmink on Feb 14, 2009
A rather unusual project just started in the OpenSolaris community. It's the OpenSolaris Lending Project. Instead of directly working on the code for OpenSolaris, the new project provides a venue for OpenSolaris community members who want to contribute to the OpenSolaris Lending Team at Kiva.org
If you're not familiar with Kiva, it is a scheme that acts as a marketplace and aggregator for microfinance loans. It allows ordinary people to make small loans to other people keen to lift themselves out of poverty around the world. The loans are aggregated by Kiva, sent via a local organisation that Kiva has vetted and used as start-up capital (or growth capital) by an entrepreneur who would otherwise be unable to get finance. The sums are small - $25 sums from lenders are aggregated into loans around $500 for borrowers - but the impact can be enormous.
The idea of the OpenSolaris community is to allow OpenSolaris community members who also share in the vision for microfinance to gather together and make a difference. By forming the team at OpenSolaris, we also hope that advocacy activities will choose to work with Kiva when they are looking for a gift or incentive for user groups and marketing activities. Not everyone would prefer a Kiva gift certificate to an iPod, but it's a gift that lasts longer and has a better effect on the world!
To get things moving, we've also opened an OpenSolaris Bookstore. If you order your copy of The OpenSolaris Bible through there, Amazon will give us a 5% commission that we'll use to fund Kiva gift certificates for use by the OpenSolaris Advocacy community. You can also bookmark this link and use it when you visit Amazon.