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Wokai

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development

Mission: Wokai is a 501c3 non-profit organization that enables people in China to lift themselves from poverty. Wokai is based in Oakland, California, with core operations in Beijing, and active chapters in San Francisco, Seattle and New York with more than 80 active representatives. Our website is a person-to-person contribution platform that enables contributors around the world to support entrepreneurs in rural China to start small businesses.

Results: We just launched our website on November 15, 2008.  As of January 2, 2009, we had brought together 139 contributors from 10 countries to fund loans for about 20 entrepreneurs in rural China.  About two years ago, Wokai began as an idea spawned by two Americans studying in Beijing.  Thanks to our advisors, chapters, designers, donors, families, field partners, friends, interns, investment committee, lawyers, pilot participants, programmers, volunteers and so many more, this idea has transformed into a dynamic international organization with an amazing website, to empower people in China to lift themselves from poverty.

Target demographics: We partner with microfinance institutions in rural China, to connect contributors worldwide with impoverished entrepreneurs.  Our first Field Partner, Chifeng Zhaowuda Women’s Sustainable Development Association, works exclusively with women in Inner Mongolia.  These women have started businesses ranging from noodle shops to pig farms, in order to lift themselves and their families from poverty.  Our second Field Partner, Association for the Rural Development of Yilong County, works with men and women in Sichuan Province, some of whom were affected by the May 12 earthquake.

Direct beneficiaries per year: n/a

Geographic areas served: rural China

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm interested in China, money, and helping people. But after checking out http://www.wokai.org, I think this website would appeal if you're just into finding a new way to do something good for the world, You can look at the business ideas of impoverished yet incredibly resourceful people in the rural provinces of China and lend small amounts of money ($20) to them directly through the website! After using this site (a friend got me a gift certificate for Christmas), I love keeping tabs on loan repayments and other updates in the borrower's lives. Wokai's "My Impact" section is also fantastic--it shows who else in my area is contributing to the same borrowers. Major props to Wokai--you've found a way to stretch helping hands from California all the way to Sichuan and Inner Mongolia.

13

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization. I've been impressed with how this group is trying to make a difference in rural China. I'm so glad that they are giving women opportunities to be self sufficient and help their families. Wokai is run by an impressive group from the Millenium Generation (20-30 year olds). As a senior citizen (age 80+), it's inspirational to see how people with passion and vision can make a difference for the poverty-sticken in rural China. I recommend this to others!