High food and oil prices and slowing global demand for exports are squeezing poor countries harder than ever. More people are being pushed into poverty, and more people need help.

But at a time when we are all having to tighten our belts, it’s difficult to think about giving our money away.

I am a supporter of aid agency CARE International, and I feel they have come up with the answer.

lendwithcare.org allows individuals in the UK to lend anything from £15 directly to an entrepreneur in a poor community in the developing world. The loan is used to help this person find a route out of poverty: then you get your money back. You can keep it, or re-lend to another entrepreneur.

For just £15, you can start a life-changing cycle, helping person after person to help themselves. In this climate of belt-tightening and value-for-money, I can’t think of a better way to give.

Sophie Askew, Lawrence Street, York.