Jane Hahn for The New York Times
I am not a fan of microfinance; let me be clear about that. Kiva and organizations like that are what I'm talking about. This NY Times article talking about how banks and organizations like Kiva are charging huge interest rates to lendees in the developing word. I have much to say on this topic will let the article do the talking for now.
My thinking was first greatly influenced by Alexander Cockburn who wrote The Myth of Microloans. It's a short read and worth it if you're considering send your or your school's money towards a microfinance organization in helps of aiding third world workers.