School District Provides Micro-Loans To Countries Around the World
In 2015, Mr. Englert’s Multicultural Studies class in the Harbor Creek School District began financing micro loans to people all over the world who are looking to improve their lives. Micro loans are small loans that can have a huge impact in helping individuals or families to permanently get out of poverty. They can be used to start small businesses, get an education, or make necessary improvements to villages and homes. In the past three years the Multicultural Studies class has sponsored loans all over the world. Some of the countries include Mali, Cambodia, Rwanda, Jordan, Paraguay, Tajikistan, Uganda, Lebanon, and the Philippines. The class raises money through various fundraisers.
One of the truly unique parts of this project is that these are loans—not charity. All of the money is being paid back in full with interest. While the class does not make a profit, the money they loan out today can be loaned out again and again which means that the impact over time can be huge. In order to select loan recipients, the Multicultural Studies Class partnered with an organization known as KIVA.
Since starting this project in November of 2015 the class has lent nearly $4,500 toward nearly 80 loans for recipients in 35 countries. Some of the loan recipients include people like Javohir in Tajikistan. Javohir is the son of farming parents, but he has lofty goals of becoming a doctor. The class helped to fund $50 of his $3,000 loan request to finance his medical school. Another recipient is Nicholas, a 46 year old father of six children in Uganda. He wants to expand his coffee growing operation so that he can afford to send all of his children to school.
The students have done a great job of adequately analyzing potential risk factors and because of that they have only lost $6.24 due to currency loss and loan delinquency.
By encouraging others to get involved the class hopes to increase their global impact exponentially every year.