Mr. Abdul Satar had borrowed a total of $425 from a variety of lenders on Kiva.org, who besides me included Nathan in San Francisco, David in Rochester, N.Y., Sarah in Waltham, Mass., Nate in Fort Collins, Colo.; Cindy in Houston, and "Emily's family" in Santa Barbara, Calif.
With the loan, Mr. Abdul Satar opened a second bakery nearby, with four employees, and he now benefits from economies of scale when he buys flour and firewood for his oven. "If you came back in 10 years, maybe I will have six more bakeries," he said.
Mr. Abdul Satar said he didn't know what the Internet was, and he had certainly never been online. But Kiva works with a local lender affiliated with Mercy Corps, and that group finds borrowers and vets them.