Kiva in the World Issues Classroom
24 Mar 2011 No Comments
Students in World Issues 120 will embark on a project where they must choose an entrepreneur from a third world country in which they will loan money to in an effort to create or further expand a business in that area.
This will be done through an organization called Kiva. (www.kiva.org) Students will need to look for an entrepreneur they are interested in sponsoring and will pitch their choice to their classmates. In groups, they will research the country, region, and area in which their chosen entrepreneur is proposing to start and build a business.
An old proverb says: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” We give to several different projects in our World Issues class. We have been building wells in India for the last 2 years, buying mosquito nets, and sponsoring orphans in Haiti. This project with Kiva encompasses the aspect of development while still giving, only to get the loan paid back so we can give again.
Unit III: Issues Facing the Global Community of the New Brunswick curriculum guide for World Issues 120 contains 4 sections, Resource Depletion and Environmental Degradation, Demographic Changes, Economic Development, and Technological Change. This project can touch on all four sections of this unit of the curriculum standards. (http://www.gnb.ca/0000/publications/curric/World%20Issues%20120.pdf)
Part of the difficulty in this project is the amount of online research that needs to be done in order for the students to be prepared to present/pitch to their classmates. They need to know where to start, and to do that, they need to know the appropriate questions they need to ask. Is the proposed business a viable one? Is it suitable for that area? What is the major industry of that area? region? country? Will this business employ? Will it feed other businesses in that area as well, taking our loan even further.
In the end it is a very rewarding experience for the students and one they can take with them as many go on to create their own Kiva accounts to loan the same $20 for years.