Hun Middle School Students Finance International Micro-Loans, Empower Themselves and Others
Students in The Hun Middle School Community Service Club have raised and donated $400 to fund micro-loans in impoverished communities around the world. Centennial Speaker Chris Temple and his film Living on One Dollar, a story about the impact of micro-loans on small community in rural Guatemala, motivated the students to explore micro-finance. Using Kiva.com, an online crowdsourcing website, Hun Middle School students identified and supported individuals from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Central America, for whom they believed a small loan would be a great advantage.
“By discussing the applicants and proposed projects on Kiva.com, our students became much more aware of the conditions in other parts of the world and the challenges people face. It’s an enriching process to help others. And, we have tied components of world geography and math to this work,” explained Joan Nuse, Middle School Community Service Club advisor and geography teacher.
The Middle School Community Service Club has already allocated $225 of its $400 working capital to six individuals and two groups. They have helped to support a farmer in Albania, public sanitation in Ghana, education in Jordan, an apparel maker in Pakistan, a food cart in India, sustainable energy in Kenya, farming in El Salvador, and a bakery in Pakistan. Donations of approximately $25 were made to help each individual reach their donation goals on Kiva.
The students were most eager to fund community-oriented ideas so that their investment would have a larger impact. Aditya Gowlikar ’20 said, “It was important to us to help not just the individual seeking the loan, but also the community where that person lives. We wanted to give money to people who could then help others.”
On April 1st, the first payment of a loan was repaid from Jordan. As students continue to receive repaid loans, they will identify additional individuals to assist. Their intention is to maintain a cycle of economic support and empowerment.
During his visit to The Hun School, Chris Temple said, “Poverty can seem like an overwhelming problem without a simple solution. For us, micro-finance is an example of how a small change can make a big impact in someone’s life and can do so in a dignified and sustainable way.”
The Hun School of Princeton is an independent, coeducational, private day and boarding college preparatory school. Student-centered, hands-on learning prepares students for the global community in which they will live and work.