I recently had the opportunity to have dinner with the Singapore based kitty group called Venus. For the uninitiated, a kitty group is typically a monthly gathering of women who are passionate about a certain interest such as religion, charity, current affairs, or social networking. Each member contributes a monthly payment and the collective amount is then handed out to a member of the group every month. These days, kitty groups are incredibly varied, where some simply talk and gossip, others meet to talk about intellectual pursuits, or commonly held interests and hobbies. This particular kitty group, Venus, is primarily charity oriented. This kitty group is a spin-off of another group called the Anjali Group, whose members are also Milaap supporters. Each month, 28 women, who have met for over ten years now, individually contribute SGD$305, where $300 goes to the 'kitty', and $5 is put towards the charity fund. Venus’ focus is on Indian organizations and causes, such as Narayan Seva (an NGO dedicated to patients with polio and cerebral palsy), flood victims in India, areas lacking in education, etc.The Kitty Group concept has very similar origins; as they began as groups where the aggregate funds were loaned out to the members of the group on a need-based allocation, at incredibly low interest rates. Eventually however, this evolved into a monthly allotment of savings to each member.For the month of June, Venus has decided to allocate SGD$1000 collected through the charity savings to Milaap, and loan out their money in support of sanitation and energy projects.[caption id="attachment_3316" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Dinner with the women of Venus, Singapore[/caption]I recently had the opportunity to meet the women of Venus, at the invite of group member Ranjana Nanikram. It was a truly lovely gathering over an intimate dinner, and we had the opportunity to celebrate one of their members’ birthday. Over dinner, I presented the work we do at Milaap and personally thanked each one of them for their generous contribution and decision to focus on impact with their contribution. We had an inspiring discussion about how their funds are used to empower many young women and students in Singapore and in India. Thank you so much for your compassion and trust![caption id="attachment_3317" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Celebrating a birthday with Venus[/caption]Follow in Venus' footsteps today and Loan a Little, Change a Lot.
An inspiring story of 28 women