Sunday, 7 December 2014

Making Our Kiva Loans!

Last Thursday was an exciting day.  We made our first Kiva loans!  You may recall that we recently held a beanbag toss fundraiser. We raised enough money to make seven $25 loans.  To help us choose our loan recipients, we established the following criteria as a class:

1)  Has one or more children under 18 years old.
2)  Between the ages of 20-50.
3)  Lives in a country with a low or medium human development index rating (The human development index is a United Nations measure of standard of living.  See the ratings here.)
4)  Field partner (agency distributing loan) has at least a four star rating.  (less risk of default)
5)  Monthly repayment schedule.

Choosing loan recipients is no easy task, since there are over 6000 people asking for loans on Kiva!  To start, students divided up into pairs and began reading profiles, using the above criteria as a guide.  When they found a person who sounded promising, they recorded more information, so they could tell the class about their candidate.


 Pairs then recommended one or more loan recipients to the class, and together we read their profiles.  Students then got six votes.  They could "spend" their votes however they saw fit.  They could vote for six different people, or they could give two votes each to three people, for example.  (We made six loans on Thursday, the last one will be determined later by students who were absent on Thurs.)

In the end, we chose the following loan recipients.

- Merly from the Philippines who sells bamboo.
- Rodelyn from the Philippines who sells jewellery.
-Rexhep from Kosovo who is an onion farmer.
-Janet from the Philippines who is a fisherwoman.
-Carlos from Paraguay who runs a food distribution business.
-Paulina from the Philippines who is a pig farmer.

It is great to think that our loans will help these people to build their businesses.  With the profits, they will be able to improve their lives and the lives of their families.  The best part is, when our loans are repaid, we can reloan our money to other deserving people on Kiva!

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