I just made a loan to someone in Togo using a wonderful website called Kiva.
I discovered the site in the blog of a fellow blogger.
In Kiva's website you can lend to someone across the globe who needs a loan for their business - like raising goats, selling vegetables at market or making bricks. Each loan has a picture of the entrepreneur, a description of their business and how they plan to use the loan so you know exactly how your money is being spent - and you get updates letting you know how the entrepreneur is going.
The best part is, when the entrepreneur pays back their loan you get your money back or use it for another loan (I like this idea because you can give a small loan once and use the same amount over and over)- and Kiva's loans are managed by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing this, so I suppose you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.
I made a loan to Adjo Solomé in Togo. I liked her immediately because she's working with a sewing machine!
I love the internet because you can do things like this directly now.
I checked the site for its credibility as much as I could and you should do this too before giving some loan so that you feel good about it!