Laurie

Country

United States

About

Lender since 23 January 2015.

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26 March 2015 through 16 November 2018:
Served as a Country Liaison & Team Lead for the Payment Teams for Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, and Senegal (except for sometimes when an intern would spend six to twelve weeks as an acting Team Lead for one or more of those countries, so that they could gain that real-world work experience), and more recently served as a Country Liaison & Team Lead for the Payment Team for Zambia (after Zidisha stopped serving borrowers in the four Francophone countries mentioned above).

For information about why Zidisha no longer serves borrowers in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, or Senegal, please see: goyimei.info/loan/market... [discussion#comment-663213] and: goyimei.info/forum-threa... [forum-thread/6069#comment-16498]

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2019: Following the increased automation on the platform, there no longer are any teams of Country Liaisons on Zidisha's Staff (or, of course, any Team Leads), anymore. If you still see those titles for anyone here anywhere, that just means those individuals have not yet updated their profiles.

We former Team Leads (and Country Liaisons) have the ability to choose whether or not to post a photograph on the "Alumni" page, at any time.*

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*I used to post a photo, when Zidisha was charging borrowers only a small one-time Membership Registration Fee and a per-loan 5% Service Fee. It's my understanding that fees have increased in number and amount due to an increase in borrower defaults over the years, in order to have a pool of "insurance" funds to reimburse lenders for defaults, which is used for ensuring that there would be money available to recycle into more borrower projects than otherwise would be possible.

To any borrowers who may be reading:

The best chances for fees to be reduced in number and amount in the future is for all borrowers to make sure always to remit their installments on time. If need be, it is fine to lower the installment amount and to pay the lowest installment amount allowed. (Defaulting, though, hurts other borrowers by causing much higher fees.)

The Staff is working on finding other ways to help reduce fees again in the future, too, and I hope they will be successful in that endeavor. However, even if large donations are received from wealthy benefactors (and/or from other sources), if defaulting occurs at too high a rate, then even quite a lot of that money disappears, eventually (as has happened in the past).

Therefore, the most important way for fees, in general, to be able to be lowered in number and amount (and for those to remain lower, in general), is for each borrower to honor the financial obligation made when he or she clicks to confirm acceptance of the terms of the loan.

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After the increased automation mentioned above (which occurred in early 2019), there now are only two (2) Staff members on the Zidisha Team (goyimei.info/team).

In between Staff members and normal borrowers & lenders (and much closer to normal borrowers & lenders than to Staff), there now remain only the Volunteer Mentors [VMs], who are borrowers with at least three (3) months of Zidisha borrowing experience, and an on-time repayment rate of at least 90%, who help other less-experienced borrowers on the Zidisha platform.

Also in early 2019, there has been the addition of Community Moderators [CMs], who are Zidisha members (not just lenders, but also borrowers) who do various miscellaneous moderating tasks, including (but not limited to) reading the FAQs and other information to try to respond to inquiries posted by other lenders & borrowers in the public Forum. (There is no requirement in the CM role to spend any particular amount of time or to complete any particular amount of work.)

Note that CMs and VMs are *not* Staff members.

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Personally, I currently am moderating comments only on borrowers' Discussion pages (posted by borrowers & lenders), to choose one or more, every day or two, to include on the "Project Updates" section of the website: goyimei.info/project-upd....

On borrower Discussion pages, I also *sometimes* redirect borrowers to the HELP link in their account when I notice they're trying to reach the Staff in that location which is not meant for that purpose. Any borrowers reading, please realize that I cannot always be available to do this. Please keep in mind that Community Moderators are NOT Staff.**

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**Note, too, that any other Zidisha member (lender or borrower) also can assist in posting comments to redirect borrowers to the HELP link in their account whenever it's noticed that anyone sometimes is trying reach the Staff in the wrong location. The more helping with this, the better, since many borrowers seem not to realize that posting on their Discussion page is *not* the correct place to try to reach the Staff. (Many do not even seem to realize that lenders are *not* Staff.) Anyone wishing to help redirect borrowers to the HELP link in their account, please do!

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**Here's an example of what I post for borrowers trying to reach the Staff in a wrong location. Feel free to use it, too:

"[Borrower's Name], please be aware: Lenders cannot help you with anything technical or administrative. Therefore, your Discussion page isn't the correct place to try to reach the Staff: goyimei.info/team

"To reach the Staff, please click on the HELP link in your account. (From the drop-down list of subject options, look for one with a text-box available for creating a support ticket and type a private message there to the Staff. Then, after about three business days, check the HELP section of your account again for a reply from the Staff.)

"For more information, please read here: goyimei.info/loan/buying... [comment-660388] and here: goyimei.info/loan/busine... [comment-660503]

"Please also don't forget about the FAQs: goyimei.info/faq
Thanks, and best wishes."

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ELEVEN (11) OF MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

1.) "Live simply so that others may simply live."
-Mahatma Gandhi

2.) "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
-Mother Teresa

3.) "You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

4.) "They may see your warm and caring nature as a weakness. Continue to be warm and caring. For, you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It never was between you and them, anyway."
-Unknown

5.) "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

6.) "Together we can change the world... one random act of kindness at a time."
- Ron Hall

7.) "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
-Jimi Hendrix

8.) "Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them."
-Albert Einstein

9.) "Humanity is going to require a substantially new way of thinking if it is to survive."
-Albert Einstein

10.) "Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as...a vegetarian diet."
-Albert Einstein

11.) "All truth goes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Then, it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident."
-Arthur Schopenhauer

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I support organizations which provide education to women and men about the importance of reducing human pregnancies and births worldwide, including (but not limited to) those which provide no-cost or low-cost, high-quality (effective!) contraception. (Population Connection: is an example of one such organization I support.) Here at Zidisha, I prefer to help borrowers who similarly are trying to help reduce human numbers on Planet Earth, in a humane way.

We are far too many, we have known this for at least the past forty-plus years, and the most humane way to solve the problem is by preventing human pregnancies in the first place.

Worldwide, about 40% of pregnancies are unintended; it's an EVEN HIGHER percentage in some countries: [news-release/2014/new-study-finds...]. Although even more human pregnancies than that probably would need to be prevented for ecological health and survival of species, even if just that many human pregnancies could be prevented annually, that still would help us all enormously.

Bringing fewer humans into the world has THE most beneficial impact for improving the environment and the quality of life on the planet for all (in multiple ways) and, ironically, even for saving our own species. All other efforts--(although very important, too)--are significantly less helpful: [2017-07-effective-individual-tackle-climate-discussed.html] ; also see:
[important-things-to-do-for-the-environment-1203550]

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I also prefer to support Zidisha projects which are engaged in growing only vegetables, legumes, nuts, herbs, berries, fruits, gluten-free grains, etc. (in other words, which are *not* engaged in growing gluten-containing grains, or in raising any water-based or land-based animals to take their eggs; to perpetuate their lactation; or to kill them for their fins, tusks, horns, fur, hide, meat, or anything else).

I follow a dietary lifestyle of mostly whole, organically grown, no-sugar-added,
alcohol-free, gluten-free, extracted-oil-free, vegan foods ("mostly whole" means
little to no processed foods), which science and personal experience prove is best
for the human body.

Truly, if every *human being* were to do the same, I have no doubt that not only the health of our species would improve, but life in general on our planet would benefit significantly. Please review Albert Einstein's & Arthur Schopenhauer's quotes, above.

Also see: goyimei.info/loan/gilgal... [discussion#comment-660741]

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The majority of the 7+ billion human beings currently on Planet Earth tend to think: "What I do or don't do as an individual won't make a difference in the world..."
Imagine, though, if every human being were to believe the opposite of that,
which happens to be the truth...

For example: "It's only one straw" ...said *billions* of people...

[content/plastic-straw-use-bad-for-environment-oceans/]

(Of course, think about more than just straws...)

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Human overpopulation is THE root cause of most of the problems on the planet.

At the following link, you can see a J-curve chart of the exponential growth of the human population from the year A.D. 1 to 2013:
[an-exponentially-growing-concern-overpopulation/]

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I don't judge people who have had more than two kids in their lifetime.

Most people who have done so *didn't know* that human overpopulation is THE root cause of most of the environmental and other major problems on the planet.

My intention is to increase awareness.

And, no, once we know better, it's *not* okay to have more than two kids in a lifetime, just because someone else chose to have only one or none. This is because we actually need for more human beings on the planet to choose to have *no kids* at all, because even though the growth rate of the global human population has slowed somewhat in recent years, it has not yet slowed to a rate for good sustainability of life on this planet.

My intention also is to try to effect positive change.

We humans already have wiped out much of other life on Earth... and we're currently approaching, or already are in, a sixth mass extinction, this one brought about by us: [the-sixth-mass-extinction/]. The extinction could include our species, too, if we don't significantly change our ways (including, but not limited to, how many more human beings we bring into this world).

We knew this at least forty or fifty years ago, and yet most human beings haven't paid attention: Even though this warns us that we're probably already past the point of no return, that doesn't mean we should throw up our hands and not change anything. Think about it. We are *billions* of human beings on this planet. That means we still *can* do things to improve the quality of life on Earth...

Don't have kids (or any more kids), become vegan (or 99% vegan), grow a garden, use solar power, use wind power, walk, ride a bike or a trike, drive a small vehicle (preferably hybrid or electric) or use a public bus or train (preferably powered by non-fossil-fuel, renewable energy), avoid flying (use online meeting options instead), live in a small house and do anything you can to reduce the carbon footprint of your home (improve its insulation, etc.), recycle/re-use everything you can, choose biodegradable plant-based plastics (not petroleum-based plastics), use natural cleaning products (baking soda, vinegar, etc.), etc., etc. Don't just do things the way they've "always" been done. Instead, THINK and make better choices for the greater good, *every day*.

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This is a really important video about exponential population growth;
I wish everyone on the planet could view it:
[watch?v=sI1C9DyIi_8]
It's well worth the time to watch this, in its entirety.***

***It's a shame that many of the students in the classroom that day
apparently didn't recognize their professor's brilliance, nor did they
seem to realize how lucky they were to be his students!

Please don't make the same mistake of not paying attention to and valuing
the extremely important information Dr. Bartlett has presented to us.

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Please also don't let the fact that Professor Bartlett was a Physics professor
deter you at all, because I assure you that you CAN very easily understand
what he teaches us in this video. :-)

The particular video linked above was posted by someone in 2015,
two years after Professor Albert Bartlett, Ph.D., passed away: [wiki/Albert_Allen_Bartlett]
It replaced an earlier post of it, which had had over 2 million views. I'd like to
see it viewed and understood and acted upon in a positive way by billions of people, most especially by governmental policymakers... (but, really, also by everyone).

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Dr. Bartlett said: "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." I slightly disagree with his wording; instead,
I would say: "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our lack of awareness
of the exponential function (or our lack of attention paid to the implications of it)."
That's probably what he meant, not that most people literally can't understand it.
It's not difficult for just about anyone to understand if it, if they're aware of it.

Even those who already are aware of it tend to forget about it... because, to our detriment, it is not a topic that the media or even most teachers or professors talk about much (if at all) due to its "political incorrectness".

However, I think it's critically important for all of us to educate ourselves about it,
and to make a conscious effort to remind ourselves about it on a regular basis,
as it quite literally affects all of us, for better or for worse, depending on what we
do (and don't do), individually and collectively, each and every day, going forward.

In fact, decades ago, we all should have started to pay better attention and to make better choices for the environment and for chances of survival of species.

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As mentioned above, bringing fewer humans into the world has THE most beneficial impact for improving the environment and the quality of life on the planet for all (in multiple ways) and, ironically, even for saving our own species.

All other efforts--(although very important, too!)--are significantly less helpful: [2017-07-effective-individual-tackle-climate-discussed.html] ; also see:
[important-things-to-do-for-the-environment-1203550]

Human overpopulation is THE root cause of most of the problems on the planet.

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Here's an interactive tutorial which explains exponential population growth,
even more clearly, using bacteria in a beaker (or beakers) as an example: [worldpopulationbalance.org/exponential-growth-tutorial/bacteria-exponential-growth.html]

Be sure to keep going all the way to the end of the tutorial. It doesn't take very long,
it's simple for just about anyone to understand, and I'm very sure that most of you
will find it quite eye-opening!

Remember, too, that human births are far outpacing human deaths each year
on Planet Earth. Check this out:

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And this shows projected human-population growth rates: [/World#population_forecast]

Keep in mind "The Rule of 70" that Professor Bartlett has taught us about exponential growth rates: [.org/exponential-growth-tutorial/
rule-of-70.html]

And this shows human-population numbers from the year 1 A.D., through the present, and projected through 2083, so through approximately just one more human lifetime
of about 70+ years from 2010:
[current-world-population-1435270]

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This is encouraging! :-)
goyimei.info/loan/busine...
[business-expansion-1842/discussion#comment-669508]****
****(I mean, the comment above mine... I don't know the URL for that, though.)

Also see:
[2017/05/climate-change-global-warming-drawdown-hawken/]

I especially like this excerpt: "...'Why bother' means game over. I actually see it as game on. It's a different point of view. Climate change is feedback, and any system that doesn't incorporate feedback is stupid and fails and dies. Here, we have feedback, and the feedback it's giving us is a pathway to a much better world than the one we live in now..."

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Please, please widely share all of the links on this page:
goyimei.info/lender/prof... [lender/profile/view/30131]
That action also could help to change our world for the better...

Thank you.

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Edited: 22 May 2019 at 6:05 PM, EDT

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