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Category: Humanitarian Projects

The Faces of Third-World Entrepreneurs

We often see advertisements telling of the sadness and lack in third-world countries, and asking for our help.

Right or wrong, I have never been inclined to support those causes as, to me, it feels that my energy is going in the direction of focusing on the lack, rather than the abundance.

Being part of the solution…

So how do I support instead?

I fund entrepreneurs in these areas – people who only need a little to be able to set up, or expand their local business – and this is not a hand-out, this is a loan that supports more than the recipient.

The micro-financing loan is administered and managed by a field partner in the same area as the entrepreneur.  100% of my investment goes to the entrepreneur, and the field partner charges an interest rate that allows them (the field partner) to continue to grow and support even more entrepreneurs.

The loan is then paid back over an extended period of time, allowing the recipient to grow their business to generate the additional income to service the loan.

Since Kiva (the non-profit based in America that administers the program) started in 2005, the average number of loans that have been repaid in full is 96.9%.

So, who are these entrepreneurs?

Along with other investors, these are the people I am personally funding – along with their stories…

Please meet Frankston.

Frankson’s story

Frankson is 42 years old, married, and blessed with three children. His business is selling timber and operating a car wash, which he has done for four years.This is his second loan and he will use it to buy timber to sell and a water tank for his car wash business. He will use profits from the expanded business to educate his children.His hopes and dreams are to open another timber yard and also build a permanent house for his family.

Frankston is from Kitengela;Nairobi, Kenya

Please meet Sarah.

Sarah’s story

Sarah is 46 years old. She is married with 3 children, ranging in age 18 through 21 years. They live at home while attending school.Sarah is a high school graduate. She deals in a business where she sells charcoal. A business she has operating for 6 years. Sarah describes herself as hardworking business woman.

She started this business with financial help from her brother and her mother taught her how to sell.

She transports supplies to her business site by car. Sarah sells from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm, making sure that her business goes well.

To add up her business, Sarah requires for a loan through BRAC Liberia and KIVA Field Partner. The loan will be used to purchase more charcoal to sell.

She likes her business because it helps to support her family. Sarah would like to build a house for her children within the future.

Sarah is from New Kru, Liberia

Please meet Nancy.

Nancy’s story

Her curiosity and natural abilities have made Nancy a successful farmer. She works hard to meet the demands of her small family, (husband and children) as well as her farm requirements. Nancy has been working on her farm for 12 years. Through farming, Nancy is able to meet the basic needs of her family. She also owns a small shop.The biggest problem that farmers from her village face is the huge deficit in access to agricultural inputs, meaning those farmers’ yields and incomes are far below what they could be. Juhudi Kilimo partnered with Kiva to provide financial services to smallholders around Kenya. Through these financial services, farmers from Kitale like Nancy now can buy productive assets and important agricultural inputs for use on their farms.

Nancy is seeking a loan to buy farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides. Your loan will enable her to improve her production through the use of quality farm inputs. This intervention will help her fill the increasing demand for food in the market and, in the process, generate more income to repay the loan debt and improve the quality of life for her family. To others it might just be a mere loan, but to Nancy it’s the biggest opportunity she will have this season of changing her life. Kindly lend to her today.

Nancy is from Kenyenya, Kenya

Please meet Justine.

Justine’s story

Justine is 30 years old and lives in the town of Kajjasi in the Abaita Ababiri region of Uganda. For the past six years, Justine has been working hard to manage her retail shop, which sells essential items like sugar, salt, and other home use items.To help expand her business, Justine has requested a loan of 3,000,000 Ugandan Shillings from BRAC Uganda. The loan will be used to buy sugar, maize, flour, beans, biscuits, milk and cooking oil to attract customers, and will help Justine to generate greater profits and pay her mother’s medical bills and buy new clothes for herself.

Justine hopes that in the future she will be able to open up a new branch of a retail shop.

Justine is a member of BRAC’s Small Enterprise Program (SEP). The program primarily serves small entrepreneurs like Justine who do not have enough collateral for commercial loans, but have businesses that have grown too large for microloans.

Justine is from Kajjansi, Uganda

Please meet Rosalinda.

Rosalinda’s story

Rosalinda is 42 years old and a housewife that lives with her family in the municipality of Barranquilla. She wanted to generate her own income and to support her spouse by selling products to her neighbours and friends.She has started her sales of products three years ago and she today offers a broad variety of products: cold meats, footwear, clothing and other requests from her customers. Rosalinda is looking for financial support so she can accept more orders from her customers, currently she is often in the position that she is unable to make the necessary purchases.

The loan she is asking for will be used to buy cold meats such as ham, local types of sausages and other requests made by her customers.

Rosalinda is from Barranquilla, Colombia

How can you support?

Everyone has different things that touch their heart.  For me, it is people who are stepping up and creating something that helps others as well as themselves.

No matter your passion, you can probably find someone who fits that place in your heart.  Here is a list of the categories of people seeking a micro-loan (and bearing in mind, your loan can be as little as $25):


I love being part of this program.  Whatever you choose to do to give back, on behalf of everyone else here on this pretty little blue planet…

Thank you!

~ Bella


Welcome Caesar and Commando to the Family!

Something that has been on my bucket list – and my heart – for quite a while, is to adopt, or at least sponsor, a retired working horse.

So, when a new client fell into my lap unexpectedly, I decided to check another two humanitarian things off my list – making a Kiva loan, and sponsoring a retired working horse!  (hmmm, ok, so I’m a softie and ended up sponsoring two of them!)

…and I am SO excited to go and visit my beauties when I get back to England!

All hail the mighty Caesar! This striking 18.2hh Shire worked for Thames Valley Mounted Branch.

Caesar was the largest police horse and was the sergeant’s horse due to being extremely brave and imposing.

His duties included day to day patrolling of the entire Thames Valley.

Described as big and bold, Caesar has been injured on several occasions by missiles and objects during his working life.

His confident presence made him a very successful security horse, providing Close Protection security to HM The Queen’s Royal Procession.

Commando is a gorgeous 17.3hh, black gelding, born in 1997.

He had a long and distinguished career in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

He also spent time at the Household Cavalry Training Wing.

Commando served at both the Golden and Diamond Jubilee parades (2002 ans 2012) as well as at the Royal Wedding in 2011.

Described by Officers as “a perfect Cavalry Black”, Commando retired to The Horse Trust in 2012.

If you would like more information on sponsoring a retired working horse, there are organisations all over the world – just Google “sponsor a retired working horse” and follow that by your state or county.

If you get stuck, just reach out to me and I will see what I can do to hook you up!

~ Bella

I just made a Kiva Loan!

A what???  A Kiva Loan!

Kiva is an international non-profit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people all over the world and through lending – not charity – to alleviate poverty.

I am very much a believer in giving to people who are working to manifest a better and brighter existence for themselves and their families – and that’s exactly what Kiva is all about.

…and so today, when I had an unexpected new client land in my lap, I decided to give back – and to check a couple of things off my bucket list!  A Kiva loan and sponsoring a retired working horse (more on the latter in a separate post).

Rosalinda is 42 years old and a housewife that lives with her family in the municipality of Barranquilla. She wanted to generate her own income and to support her spouse by selling products to her neighbours and friends.

She started her sales of products three years ago and she today offers a broad variety of products: cold meats, footwear, clothing and other requests from her customers. Rosalinda was looking for financial support for a total of only $350 USD so she can accept more orders from her customers, currently she is often in the position that she is unable to make the necessary purchases.

The loan she asked for will be used to buy cold meats such as ham, local types of sausages and other requests made by her customers.

The Kiva loan is managed locally by a non-profit organization in northern Colombia dedicated to developing programs for the country’s poorest communities. In addition to numerous social services, the non-profit runs a micro-finance program to strengthen micro-businesses in the areas where it works; as well as offering several non-financial components as part of this program, including training to help entrepreneurs start their own businesses.

To learn more about Kiva, you can go to www.Kiva.org.

~ Bella

Quest: One week without disposable plastic

Can you go a week without acquiring/using any new disposable plastic items?

plastic-trashHow many disposable plastic bags, bottles, cups and utensils do you use in a day, a week, a year?

After watching a video by Jeff Bridges (I’ve embedded it below for you) I was inspired to take the challenge of starting with just one week – just one week – of not adding any new disposable plastic items into my world.

Sounds fairly simple, yes?  That’s what I thought!  I’m a reasonably planet-conscious person who recycles and prefers ‘real’ to ‘artificial’…  Should be a snap.  MAN, was I WRONG!

Here’s the video – watch this first and then I’ll tell you about my week of NO DISPOSABLE PLASTIC…

When did we become a plastic society?

Posted by Jeff Bridges on Monday, March 28, 2016


Day One – I didn’t go out of the house so day one was a success (kinda feels like cheating, but a success, nonetheless)

Day Two – A challenge was that I forgot to take water with me so called into a pharmacy to buy some – only to find the only water came in DISPOSABLE PLASTIC! So, I ended up buying a juice in a glass container… Then I was going to pick up some chicken on my way home but realized they would be putting the meat into DISPOSABLE PLASTIC bags… This whole challenge is actually more ‘challenging’ than I first anticipated!

Day Three – Decided to have breakfast on my way out this morning and called into a very cute-looking little cafe.  Ordered a yummy breakfast and an orange juice – only to have the breakfast delivered on a PLASTIC plate with PLASTIC knife and PLASTIC fork, and the orange juice served in a PLASTIC bottle.  It was all very tasty, but did rather dampen my enthusiasm for thinking I would be doing the right thing eating at a cafe that would have ‘real’ plates, cutlery and glassware.

Then on to the movies and I took my empty glass juice container from day 2 for them to fill with water – since they don’t like you bringing your own.  Unfortunately, while the only water they could offer me came in PLASTIC bottles, they were kind enough to fill my glass container with diet-soda (OK, so I know I wasn’t going to have any more soda while on my Kilimanjaro quest – but I felt like I would rather give up and have that one soda than buy a PLASTIC bottle during my one-week challenge.

Next, I called in to pick up some groceries and still baffled about how I was going to buy chicken and/or steak to cook at home without using any plastic, I asked to speak to the butcher.  After telling him about my quest, he said there was no possible way in any store he knew of where I could purchase meat without the use of plastic as even if I brought in my own container to put it in after he had weighed it, he would still need to put a plastic bag or sheet on the scales in order to do so.

SO, not one to be deterred, I went home meat-less.

Makes me think that vegans seem to be much less plastic-culprits simply by the very nature of the packaging of their food choices!

Am now home for the rest of the day…  Will see what tomorrow brings…

Day Four – I was home all day so no risk of adding to the plastic collection… however, I’m still baffled by many elements on this journey – mostly how it’s even possible to purchase the most basic of items without adding more plastics to the world…

Day Five – What a challenge…  Rather than purchase groceries that come in plastic packaging, I decided to forego breakfast, had a quick omelette for lunch (thankfully eggs come in paper-based packaging ALTHOUGH the cage-free eggs were ALL PLASTIC), and went out for dinner.

Day Six – Apart from an errand, decided to pick up some Chinese food – not something I normally eat but at least I knew their boxes were cardboard – so that I had enough take-out to last the final two days of my challenge…

Day Seven – after eating leftovers for breakfast, I hopped into my car and headed for Philadelphia to attend a conference,, foregoing lunch and having a delicious dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, the Moshulu (a turn of the century four-masted tall ship), knowing they would not be offering plastic!  🙂

What did I take away from this challenge?

In my experience, it is impossible to obtain what today we call ‘normal’ groceries without adding disposable plastic to the world.  It’s that simple.  It’s not a matter of purchasing at a different local store for this or that…  It’s simply not possible.  For instance, there were zero alternatives available to me in anywhere within a 50 mile radius (and yes, I went hunting) for me to purchase meats that were not packaged in disposable plastic.  Yes, I could purchase fruits and vegetables plastic-free, but that was largely where the quest ended.

So, unless I wish to exist on only fruit and vegetables at home and dining out for every other form of food – and to forego toothpaste, shampoo… the list goes on…

Even purchasing eggs – in the supermarket in the town where I am, the free-range (my preference) were all in plastic and only the eggs produced in ‘chicken-factories’ (that I tend to avoid) were in paper-based packaging.

I find it fascinating to look at the lives of people such as writer, Sarah Crisman – she, along with her husband, has chosen to largely immerse herself in the late 1800s – right down to everyday items.  As they state on their website, “We are NOT actors playing dress-up to portray “great men/women”, but just ordinary people choosing to insert as much of history into our present as we can, and using our experiences to teach others.  Sarah wears a corset 24/7, 365 days a year.  All of Gabriel’s current glasses date from the nineteenth century, from his 1850’s green sunglasses, to his everyday gold-rimmed spectacles, to his pince-nez for reading.  We don’t have cell phones, or watch television; Sarah doesn’t even have a driver’s license.  This is who we are.”

I believe it is only people such as the Crismans who are so removed from the 21st century who could possibly come close to a non-disposable-plastic existence.  For the rest of us…  I feel the best we can do is do the best we can to minimize the impact.

Quest technically over – yet I feel I have accomplished nothing…  Food for thought…

Leigh St John

We’ve been nominated for an Emmy!


There are certain moments in your life when you do more than a double-take and pinch yourself…  Hearing that a project with which I am involved has been nominated for an Emmy® was one of those moments.

Trafficked No More” is an initiative of The Las Vegas Mayor’s Faith Initiative Human Trafficking Workgroup, led by Pastor Troy Martinez and 10,000 Kids.

The aim of the documentary, directed by Adrian Leon, is to help eliminate child sex-trafficking.

It was an incredible moment at the beginning of this year to have every single television channel across the entire state of Nevada simulcasting the documentary – and for it to be ad-free.

While it wasn’t my work that resulted in the Emmy® nomination (my Team and I are the Web Producers for this initiative), I couldn’t be prouder of the Documentary Team – and in particular Adrian and Pastor Troy.

There is something quite magical about not only working on a project that is doing good in the community, but also one where the Team members are people you love and respect.

Congratulations, Team!

Serving Our Kids Feb Update:

February Schedule Update


January was a great month for Serving Our Kids Foundation.

We concluded our 2013 Holiday Food Drive with total donations of over $37,000.00 in food donations.  During the month we conducted a food drive at the Smith’s Food Store at Eastern Ave. & Windmill with a result of over $2600.00 in food and cash donations.  We had our great annual Linda Givens food drive with donations of over $3300.00 in food donations and had coverage on Channel 3 & 15. Finally, we conducted a food drive at Von’s food store in Boulder City with net donations of over $1100.00.  We have gained momentum and started to deliver to 3 new schools on January 10.


The following is our schedule for February:

Feb.  3  Bagging at Shadow Hills warehouse   6:30pm

Feb.  5  Prep night at McCaw warehouse   6:00pm

Feb.  6  Bagging at New Covenant warehouse   5:00pm

Feb.  6  Bagging at McCaw warehouse   6:00pm      Feb.  7  Deliveries to all schools

Feb.  8  “All you can eat” Pancake Breakfast

Community Church of Henderson   9am-11am

Feb. 10-13 Calvary Chapel Christian School missions

week at SOK Schools

Feb. 12  Bagging at New Covenant warehouse  5:00pm Feb. 13  Food delivery to all schools Feb. 14  Happy Valentines Day Feb. 17  Bagging at Shadow Hills warehouse  6:30pm Feb. 18  Monthly meeting at Community Church of


Feb. 19  Prep night at McCaw warehouse   6:00pm

Feb. 20  Bagging at New Covenant warehouse  5:00pm

Bagging at McCaw warehouse  6:00pm Feb. 21  Food delivery to all schools Feb. 27  Bagging at New Covenant warehouse  5:00pm Feb. 28  Food delivery to all schools


Mar. 23  6th Annual Kids Helping Kids Bowl-a-Thon

South Point Bowling Center   1:30pm

Mar. 29  Extreme Thing Fundraiser  Water & Energy

Drink booth     10am-10pm


Call today to get details on any event.(702-358-1056 Volunteers needed for all events.  Enjoy breakfast with us on Feb. 8 from 9am-11am Spread the Word!!!

Tomorrow we will deliver 1,053 food bags to 16 schools at a cost of $3822.39, as you can see our food goes out of inventory, FAST!!!  We are currently low on pop-top ravioli, cookies, fruit snacks and Vienna sausage.  Keep this in mind if you plan a food drive.


Until Next Month,



Our mailing address is:

Serving Our Kids Foundation, Inc

360 East Horizon Drive

Henderson, NV 89015



Our telephone:



Trafficked No More documentary screening Jan 22nd, 2014!

I’m honored to be the ‘Geek Support’ for this project, developing the website etc.   If you are someone you know needs help, please reach out…  The documentary will air throughout NV on Jan 22nd and will also be screened online.  Just go to the website for more info:  http://traffickednomore.org


Polaris Project (Human Trafficking Hotline):  www.polarisproject.org

Runaway Hotline (1800-RUNAWAY):  www.1800runaway.org


*** Documentary airs  January 22nd  7:30-8:00pm ***

“Trafficked No More” Trailer

Documentary airs  January 22nd  7:30-8:00pm. The half hour educational documentary “Trafficked No More” will air uninterrupted and simultaneously on every major network in a roadblock fashion in Nevada statewide. “Trafficked No More” watch parties will be hosted to increase viewership.

Watch “Trafficked No More” on the following:











“Trafficked No More” is also proudly sponsored by the following:

5520 Children's Advocacy Alliance Logo_C5

HCHC_Logo copy_White Background



If you’re a teen in trouble ~ or you know someone who is ~call  Runaway Safeline 1-800 RUNAWAY ( 786-2929 )  & Human Trafficking Hotline 888-373-7888 or TEXT to be free 233733

If you think a friend or someone you know may be in trouble, check out the WARNING SIGNS and ask for help!  If you’re right and you reach out for assistance to help them, you may just save a life…

Trafficked No More Documentary

I am honored to have been asked to produce the website and online promotional materials for the Nevada Sex Trafficking Awareness Campaign and the documentary, “Trafficked No More”.  (http://traffickednomore.org)


AB 67, signed into law by the Nevada Legislature on June 6, 2013, is a key component in the fight against sex trafficking in Nevada.

Many agencies and organizations have already begun to participate in educational campaigns including the Nevada Sex Trafficking Awareness Campaign led by Pastor Troy Martinez, founder of 10,000 Kids.

Additional groups involved include the Children’s Advocacy Alliance which has served as the facilitator of this statewide effort, local school districts, the Nevada Truckers Association, the faith based community, a variety of community partners, judges, law enforcement agencies and our media partners who have agreed to air a half hour education documentary, “Trafficked No More.”

For more information, please contact:

Pastor Troy Martinez

10,000 Kids Partnership
6450 E. Stewart Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89110