Microfinance in the Classroom: KIVA U

kivaUI’ve long been a fan of KIVA, the microfinance organization that lets all of us help fund start-up businesses and small business operators around the world for as little as twenty-five bucks. I have several loans out with them, supporting projects like shop owners in South Sudan, food vendors in Samoa, and artist collectives in Bolivia. I am, in fact, just this morning, with an easy visit to their website, re-loaning funds to new programs around the world. It feels great to have a small chunk of money invested in real world businesses and individuals making a way for themselves and their families and communities–I highly suggest you give it a try. If it’s not for you, after your loan is repaid, move on…but I suspect you’ll find you don’t actually miss that $25 and will want to re-invest in another small business to extend the way YOU reach the world.

Now, KIVA is implementing classroom tools for students and educators to explore global microfinance through learning institutions. With KIVA U, instructors can now teach the concepts of everyday investors making a real difference in lives across the globe. Generated by students or teachers/professors, you can create a KIVA U team in the classroom, tap into lesson plans appropriate for different grade levels and ages, and take a hands-on approach to international development.

All the tools are there for you, from educational materials, message boards so your group can connect as a team, ways to connect to other teams and fund loans even faster, and a way to deep dive into practical ways to connect our big ol’ global family.

C’mon–it truly is Back to School Time!

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