With just $25, your family can help combat global poverty. The money goes toward a "microfinance" loan to small entrepreneurs in developing countries. This is an ideal opportunity to begin a discussion with your children about how to be thoughtful and informed givers-and about our responsibility to those living in extreme poverty. To do more to help other families get involved in serving and giving locally, become a "champion" for family service. Read News from DGT below to learn more. Happy spring! |
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
||Macro Changes from Micro Loans|
Make a Difference
... At the Kiva site
, you and your family can read stories of low-income entrepreneurs who are seeking assistance. Kiva lets your family actually pick whom you will lend to - a farmer in Senegal, a clothier in the Philippines, a retailer in Peru. Later, when your recipient repays the loan, you can choose whether to re-lend to support another person in need. Also consider starting a Kiva family team
, and invite other friends and family to join you in your efforts.
||Empowering Individuals to Lend Directly|
Talk About It
Investing with Kiva can be a valuable opportunity to help your children become more thoughtful about their charitable giving and learn about important social issues. If you have younger children, read them some of the short bios
on the Kiva website and talk about how the individuals will use the loans they receive. If your children are upper elementary school age or older, these questions will get them thinking:
Why does Kiva lend the money rather than giving it to recipients? What are the benefits of each type of assistance?
Even once they receive the loan, what obstacles do you think the recipients might face?
Why don't these individuals simply ask a bank for a loan? Talk about issues like illiteracy, and lack of collateral, credit history and employment record.
Talk about why you think microfinance programs so often focus on women entrepreneurs.
Learn more about all these issues on the "About Microfinance" page of the Kiva website.
Learn About It...
One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway; illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes (Kids Can Press, Ltd, 2008). Ages 4-8. Kojo is a young boy living in a small village in Ghana. When his mother borrows money from the community bank, Kojo asks for a small sum of money to purchase a hen. With the eggs that the hen produces, Kojo is able to help feed his family as well as earn some money selling eggs at the market. Kojo eventually builds his farm into a thriving business. As an adult, Kojo becomes a positive force in his community by making loans to other individuals struggling to start businesses. Based on a true story, One Hen explains the concept of microfinance in language that children will understand. The book also includes a list of additional resources on microfinance and how families can get involved. Check out the companion website for more kid- friendly information, games and opportunities to donate.
Photo: One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Kiva borrowers already know how to fish. They just need a loan to buy a net." from the Kiva website
from the Kiva website
||News From DGT|
Family volunteering provides a hands-on way to teach children kindness, compassion, tolerance, community responsibility, and good citizenship-the kind of values we'd all like our children to learn.
You can make a difference in this effort. It's easy to begin the idea of family service in your community by organizing (1) a workshop (or informal gathering) on family volunteering or (2) a one-time family service event/project. If you're feeling ambitious, you could establish an ongoing family service program for your:
preschool or elementary school
business or workplace
civic or parent group
The Minneapolis-based nonprofit Doing Good Together can provide the training and guidance you need to become a champion for family service. (Doing Good Together charges a small fee for some products and services.) To learn more, contact Jenny Friedman at 612.822.6502 or firstname.lastname@example.org.