CISD Kids Partner to Prevent Poverty
Earlier this spring, some enterprising students, in Advanced Placement Microeconomics classes at Coppell High School, set out to combine their sense of service with their business acumen - in the name of global good. By participating with Kiva, a non-profit organization that connects people through lending, individuals or field partners can lend as little as $25 to help create opportunities to alleviate poverty. Recognizing that most of the world doesn't have credit, their mantra to those wanting to help individuals and small groups reach financial independence is, "Give a hand up, not a handout."
Under the direction of teacher Donnette Alexander, the students learned about microfinance, researched, wrote proposals, ran their own businesses and logged over 350 hours towards the effort. They were able to loan their proceeds of $675 to seven impoverished individuals around the world in Tajikistan, Mexico, Peru, Kenya, Lebanon, and Nicaragua. Participants included men and women aged 20 - 50 and ranged from a mother of four who sells fabric at a local market to a sugarloaf maker to an owner of a small Internet café.
According to Ms. Alexander, "Once the borrowers repay their loans, next year's students will have start-up income for the new businesses they will choose and, once again, will be able to make loans to people in need all around the world. This has been a tremendously rewarding service learning opportunity! My students were engaged in every phase of the project and for them to actually see how such a small monetary amount as $25 could make such a big difference, is something they will always remember."
For more information about Kiva visit http://www.kiva.org/.