Virtual Advent Tour – Kiva – Genealogists for Families Project

I am delighted to take part in the Virtual Advent Tour hosted by Marg & Kelly. This is my first time of taking part and I am hoping that it won’t be the last. It is a wonderful way to meet other bloggers and spread festive cheer! When I decided to take part I selected two special dates – this is the first of those two dates.

The 18th December would have been my beloved Grandmother’s birthday, her 99th one in fact. As I wandered up to my study to write this post I was suddenly aware that my Grandparents feature in pretty much every room in the house, despite the fact that we purchased the house a year after my Grandmother passed away. I have inherited lots of their belongings and photos.

Regular readers of this blog will have read various posts about my Grandparents and the families they descended from. I am very proud of them and the achievements they accomplished. I have been suddenly aware that apart from being my Grandmother, she was also a wife, a mother, a friend, sister and much, much more. In writing this post, I remember her, upon her birthday. The reality is, that I think of her every day and miss her the same. She was a huge influence in my life and her passing left quite a void

In the Spring after we moved here, I purchased a beautiful peach coloured rose. My husband planted it in her memory and every time I look out of the breakfast room window I ponder on what she would think of my zero gardening ability. The rose is lovely, and despite some fairly harsh Winters in recent years, it continues to flourish, with much assistance from my beloved. Usually on her birthday I purchase a bunch of vibrant coloured flowers, as that is how I recall her, bright, happy and always joking, and place the vase in a location where I can enjoy the flowers. This year I have opted for something very different.

About 6 weeks ago, perhaps longer, a fellow genealogist alerted me to a project called Genealogists for Families Project. The moto is “We care about families, Past, Present & Future” I joined the Genealogists team and logged in. I had a good read of the project and had a look at all the individuals listed who would benefit from a loan through the Kiva Organisation. I discussed it with my husband and shared my plans with him and pondered on how I could utilise the scheme with a genealogical link.

The basic principle is that you loan $25 through the scheme to individuals who do not have access to traditional banks. When the loan is repaid you can either withdrawal your money or loan again. You can make many loans or just one or two. The choice is up to you. I should point out, that you don’t need to be a genealogist to join the genealogist team, who have made loans of a staggering $5,350 at the time of writing this post.

So, in memory of an outstanding lady, who gave me so much I have kicked off my involvement with Kiva and made my first loan. I have picked an individual who lives in Sierra Leone, because he is supporting several family members, purely because they are his family, and also my Grandfather was stationed in Sierra Leone during the Second World War.

Christmas is the time for giving and I want to commemorate the lady who was my Grandmother. Acknowledge her achievements and values and to assist others in her memory.

The photograph here is of my Grandmother, Lilian Edith Butcher nee Matthews (1912 – 1995) on the occasion of her 21st Birthday.

If you would like to join the team, then please click HERE

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
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5 Responses to Virtual Advent Tour – Kiva – Genealogists for Families Project

  1. kriscleage says:

    Thank you for mentioning Kiva in this beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I am going to check it out.


  2. Judy Webster says:

    Julie, this is beautiful, and I love the photo of your grandmother. My impression of her, in one word, would be Kind. I think a 'commemorative loan' on a special anniversary is a wonderful idea, and as 2012 rolls along I will make a point of choosing dates and borrowers with that in mind. Thank you so much for being part of the Genealogists for Families project and our Kiva lending team.


  3. Such a lovely tribute to your Grandmother. Nice to meet you by way of the advent blog tour.


  4. Marg says:

    What a lovely way to pay tribute to your grandmother. My own grandmother is currently in hospital at the other side of the country and so is even more in my thoughts than normal.

    Giving to Kiva is a lovely way to pay tribute to her.

    Thanks so much for joining in on the tour. I look forward to your next post and to having you join in on future tours!


  5. Jenny Jones says:

    What a lovely post about your grandmother! My grandma's birthday was earlier this month and I wrote about her…they do have such an influence on our lives, don't they?

    Thanks for mentioning the Kiva foundation. I had heard of it years ago, but this is a good reminder as I am looking for a way to give back. It's wonderful that you are doing this, and it's nice to have the Sierra Leone connection.

    I love reading your blog, keep on posting!


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