Thursday, December 9, 2010

Microlending Embedded in School Culture

There are some great students at my school doing some really cool things that are improving our school and the world.  Today, a group of students is trying to get micro-lending to be ingrained in the culture of ISP.  They approached the Student Council about funding each advisory (homeroom) with 25 dollars as seed money for lending on  Advisories could just use the 25 dollars, or they could contribute from their own pockets and do even more good. Each advisory then searched through Kiva to choose the beneficiary that they most wanted to assist, and loaned them the money.  When the beneficiary pays back the loan, the group of student will repeat the process and choose another beneficiary.  After 4 years, when the students in an advisory graduate, they will pass the account onto a freshman advisory to continue the legacy, and to continue to fund loans for individuals or groups that otherwise don't have access to money to improve their lives.

There were some interesting discussions, "aha moments", and plenty of learning as advisories went about choosing beneficiaries.  The thing that I took away from this is how exciting it is to be a part of an organization where students are encouraged to lead, and make a global impact. 

If you'd like to know more about micro-lending, check out

If you'd like to see how these innovative and mildly thespian students went about introducing this program to our school, watch the video below.