Grade 8s annually compete to select projects to be funded through Kiva.org, an online, microfinance nonprofit organization. The process begins by writing a persuasive essay for Canadian & World Studies and Language & Literature classes, detailing the type of project, the country and group of people that will be assisted with a microfinance loan.
Our unit of study - Global Inequalities–Taking Action! - is a great example of an IB Middle Years Programme Interdisciplinary unit between the two courses. The students learn about global inequalities and persuasive essay writing, finishing the unit by writing one summative essay for both courses.
The second phase of the competition is for students to "pitch" their selected project to the rest of the class. Each student has one minute and one slide to present. Afterwards, each student votes for up to 3 projects. This year, the following projects will be funded:
Ava P.: $100 to Grace in Kenya plus $100 to Esther in Kenya
SJK has successfully loaned and re-loaned over $800 that was contributed by students about 10 years ago. With Kiva.org's excellent rate of loan repayment, we have not lost a dollar of the original contributions, and we've been able to provide microfinance loans to people in developing countries around the world for agricultural improvements, education and entrepreneurship. It's a win-win for everyone!
Thanks to all of the Grade 8s who participated. You are taking action and making a difference!