Kiva Calendar 2008 – the printers roll

I have just finished putting together a calendar promoting Kiva from a suggestion, and a whole lot of hard work, through – I might be biased but I think it is fantastic.

The gallery of images for all the months can be found here, along with information on my Kiva loans here.

It was quite an exciting experience, and an interesting way of developing a calendar – all done through the forum at it could be described as a consensus piece (and I think it is so much the better for being so).

I had great fun developing the polls which were used to select the photos. Thankfully many people were happy to trawl through the thousands of Kiva entrepreneurs to find their favourites, and we had a ‘shortlist’ of 105 photos from 19 countries. It eventually took 3 polls to come up with the set of images to be used, as we wanted to make sure there was a balance of countries, continents, people and businesses.

The list could have been longer as there were so many wonderful photos, unfortunately some of them were very small and the decision had been to go for a 11″x8.5″ format calendar.

The project had started out with the idea of one photo per month, but we would have been pushing beyond the limits of even the largest images that we found. There was also consensus that it would be desirable to include information, to whet the appetites of those receiving the calendar and stirring them into action.

There seemed to be many great ideas, but a dearth of people who could create the layout for the printers. My skills were a little rusty, but soon started to come back to me, and without a copy of InDesign to hand I set about trying to use Scribus – which I can highly recommend as free open source software.

Thankfully the printers had a preprepared grid for each month, as that would have been no fun to do – they also included January 2009 so that meant we could have an extra picture !!

Several revisions later and after I had also found space on the monthly grid pages for snippets of information – some fantastic quotes were found as to reasons way people loan, how simple it could be with Kiva, how rewarding and how it could change the world for the better, the calendar was ready to be printed.

And it only took just over 500 posts in the forum and the project was completed from idea to finish in exactly one month !! It was a most rewarding experience, I am now looking forward to the 2009 version.

More information on the entrepreneurs featured in the calendar can be found here on the website.

It will be distributed through