During last years launch, I realized how important it was to use an initial Kiva loan to begin creating empathy as we moved forward with our business plans. Thanks to our Kiva Council for the $25 Kiva card they gave to each of my 6th grade math classes. After discussing different criteria for making loans, the boys voted on what they would like to focus on for the loaning process.
Each of the classes felt it was important to choose someone with a short term repayment schedule. They believed that this would be encouraging to them as they would likely see repayment quickly. Excitement grew within as they realized it might enable them to loan again soon.
6b's focus was on the poorest nations of the world. We listed 20 of the poorest nations and used this as our guide. They soon discovered a correlation between field partner ratings and these poor countries and the boys grew worried about scores of less than 3 on the 5 star scale. In the end they lent to Jacqueline. Jacqueline is from Uganda and she has a beauty supply store. Earning money is important to her as it enables her to send her children to school. In the future she hopes set up a beauty school.
6a decided to concentrate on loans to women and countries in turmoil. Each of the three groups picked borrowers that met 2 out of the 3 agreed upon criteria. They learned that in many cases the individuals didn't show their face in the pictures and they wondered why. They empathized with lending groups and people with children. However, in the end they chose to lend to Maria. Maria is from Peru and she is an artist. Maria's loan enables her to buy painting materials for her art business. She enjoys painting landscapes of Cusco.
It was a shame to not have the money to share with each of the individual's/groups that the teams selected but hopefully the project will progress and we will have more money to lend.
If you recall our first loan from last year, it was to a woman named Grace. The Kiva Council has coined these initial loans to the sixth graders the "Grace" loans and they are excited to track the loans themselves.
All together Town School math classes alongside the Kiva Council have made 45 loans through kiva.org and zip.kiva.org
Excitement in the Classroom here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MojWIiJ8FpI&feature=g-upl