The Choro Music Project Turns 100

by Tom on June 3, 2014

When I first embarked on the Choro Music Project (CMP) over two and a half years ago, I was taking a small step by “playing it forward”, as I called it in that first blog post. With a portion of the profits from my recent Brazilian music gigs, I invested $25 in a Kiva microloan to help a women’s cooperative bank in Paraguay. Since then, that loan has been repaid. I have re-invested that $25, and other funds from my music activities. Other loans continue to be repaid–mostly on time–and every penny is revolved back into the CMP for deployment. The “snowball” effect, if you will.

100 Sole Note

With our last loan to the Namasmitane Group for home solar power on the island nation of Vanuatu, the Choro Music Project has hit the century mark. 100 loans to 100 businesses in need. We have funded in loans in 70 of the 75 countries where Kiva operates. The CMP sits at about $750 in loans deployed. Our goal is to lend worldwide in each and every Kiva nation, and we’re nearly there. You can see our list of countries and other stats here.

It’s hard to comprehend how many lives and businesses have been improved through the work of the CMP. I’d like to go back through the portfolio, look at the faces of those we’ve helped, re-read their stories.

Two and a half years is a long time, and a lot has happened in my life over that period. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. But there’s still more work to be done.


– Tom

Photo courtesy of Ryan McFarland.


One Week in Sámara

April 8, 2014

So, this blog has been dormant for nearly 18 months. Getting a new job, having a family, music, travel…Life. It’ll do that to you. I’m closing in on nearly one year with The Conservation Fund, a national environmental nonprofit with a dual charter of environmental conservation and community economic development. It has been a challenging, […]

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One Month in China

December 5, 2012

Here I sit in the Guilin (KWL) Airport, typing my first blog post since the CRCC Induction and Orientation Day, waiting for my flight back to Beijing. It is my last full day in the amazing country known as Zhongguo – “The Middle Kingdom”, China. Hard to believe that I arrived in Beijing nearly 5 […]

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Induc(k)tion and Orientation Day

November 3, 2012

Still fighting jet lag, the nine new interns met up outside the gates of Hopson International Park (another name for our new home away from home) to be driven to our Induction and Orientation Day by the CRCC staff. We’re a close-knit bunch and depending on how far one traveled to Beijing, the jet lag […]

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First Impressions

November 2, 2012
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Looking at a globe, you know that China is a big place. Anyone who saw the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies knows that the Chinese go big. Arriving late last night via Seattle and Tokyo trans-pacific flights, that was my first impression of China. It’s BIG. Sounds really cliched I know. But the minute you […]

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Beijing Bound

October 22, 2012
Thumb of Beijing

I am moving to Beijing, China. Wow. Still hasn’t really sunk in. I am moving to Beijing. Not permanently mind you, just for a little over a month. But still, this will be a life-changing adventure. Go West, Young Man Literally. Over the Pacific Ocean aka “The Big Pond”. Since being laid off on my son’s […]

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August 2012 Update for the Choro Music Project

August 16, 2012
Thumbnail of Paul Bienvenu in Benin

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the supporters of the Choro Music Project for making this social entrepreneurship happen. Whether you’ve attended our shows, donated funds, or simply gave an “atta boy” for the Project, it’s been well received and I’m happy to be able to give back to the world […]

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Choro Music Project: May 2012 Update

June 2, 2012
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I am proud to announce that with our 28th loan to Jyldyz in Kyrgyzstan, the Choro Music Project has eclipsed the $500 mark! This is a major milestone on our mission to help poor and rural business owners around the world get the funding they need to make their livelihood a success. As Buzz Lightyear […]

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Choro Music Project: April 2012 Update

April 14, 2012
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You may or may not have noticed this space hasn’t been updated in awhile. I’ll be perfectly up front with you: this unemployment and job search thing is time and energy consuming! Granted, I didn’t take a ton of “funemployment” time as Ramit puts it. So, the blog has been neglected, and my weekly posting […]

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