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Making loans that change lives

Gabby Baylog, Keeley Van Antwerp, and Kaitlyn Dirr created posters advertising the Kiva initiative.

During the past two academic years, 7th-grade Social Studies students have learned about microfinance and put their knowledge into practice. Through an organization called KIVA, MRMS students improved their financial literacy while going Global with outreach. KIVA is a microfinance lender that offers small no- or low-interest loans to qualified applicants who are trying to improve their circumstances and need financial assistance.

As a part of their 7th-grade Social Studies experience, students were introduced to the microfinance process. After learning about KIVA, classes spent time on the KIVA web site viewing loan possibilities. Each student was then asked to create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) that highlighted one of the individuals or groups seeking a loan. The Announcements were then used to educate the MRMS public before, during and after the International Festival. The KIVA booth has been open for education and donations during the past two Festivals.

MRMS currently has a lending account through KIVA. Seventh-grade students have been introduced to MRMS’ lendee, Isak. This gentleman lives in Kenya with his wife and five children. He needs small loans so that he can operate his livestock farming operation. Through his operation Isak hopes to pay the school fees for his children and to eventually build a home for his family. With assistance from MRMS students, Isak is pursuing his dream of providing a stable life for his wife and children.

KIVA is an ongoing outreach through the 7th-grade Social Studies team. Parents are encouraged to talk with their students about this experience. Donations are accepted and used to fund new loans. The Social Studies team of Kinayanjui, Rudder and Anderson will be happy to furnish more information about this Global Initiative and the KIVA organization. You can check out our MRMS Lender page here or watch a brief video explanation about how Kiva works created by our very own Elias-Gonzalez! Better still, ask a 7th-Grade Social Studies student for information!

Written by: Chris Anderson
Posted: Apr 27, 2014 by Brita Mann

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