FDL Book Salon Welcomes Bob Harris, The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time
We all want to make the world a better place, right? But it’s too complicated, takes too much time, or we don’t know what we, as lone human beings, can do. The International Bank of Bob will change your mind and show you how making a $25 microcredit loan through Kiva, you – collectively with other individuals just like you – will have a major impact on the recipient of that loan.
The beauty of a book like Bob Harris’ is that it takes the reader on a journey through the eyes of the author and takes us to places we could/would never go on our own. I love how he literally takes us around the globe and shares both fascinating news of what is happening in over a dozen countries, but also how he helps us feel like we’ve met the people on his journey.
In doing so, he opens our hearts and minds to the injustice that people, who are really just like us – but seem so foreign by their different religions and exotic locales – are suffering from a lack of access to financial services. In particular, I appreciated the journey through countries that have just recovered from war and have had to rebuild their lives from the rubble.
He does a beautiful job portraying how we have more in common with these strangers than we’d ever imagine. By spending a day with or sharing a meal together, he quickly pulls out our universal commonalities as humans. And by doing that, we share in the struggle that these people, who happen to be living in poverty at the moment, have in putting food on the table or paying rent. He shows if they have some support, like we had in our lives, that they too will have the chance to make decent lives for themselves.
The great thing is that he is taking us on this journey through poverty with a simple solution in hand – microcredit. He shows us both the good and the bad of microcredit, and more importantly he shows that microcredit really is hard work. The people he introduces us to: from the Kiva fellows and the microcredit loan officers to the loan recipients, all work extremely hard to make this system work so that it can really be a hand-up in life.
The amazing thing about The International Bank of Bob is that you learn so much without it feeling like a lesson in world affairs. And this is the only book where I anticipated having to look for the asterisk to read his fun and informative footnotes that you won’t want to miss.
He also adeptly takes us through a wonderful journey of his personal life that is as fascinating as the people he introduces us to.
As Arianna Huffington says
“Surprising in so many ways: a travelogue that makes the people in exotic locales as accessible as your next-door neighbors; a book about poverty alleviation that often makes you laugh out loud (or cry, sometimes on the same page); and a portrayal of loving families in challenging environments that leaves you feeling stronger, more connected to the world, and full of hope. In short: joyous, humane, and inspiring.”
After reading the book you may want to join the International Bank of Bob lending team, which has 1,311 team members who have loaned $3,433,075 via 121,912 loans. http://www.kiva.org/team/bobharrisdotcom
[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. – bev]