I had read about Kiva.com on Karl Fisch's blog several times over the years. I don't know exactly what caused me to decide to get involved this week but I am jumping in with both feet. I received permission to start a Kiva 'club' (for want of a better word) that students could join by donating money to make micro-loans.
I decided I wanted student input into the loans but I also wanted an efficient way to organize the students so I came up with the idea of creating a corporation, TigerCorp, and have students purchase 'shares of stock'. For a $1 donation the students get one share. Each share allows the student to have a vote for our corporate board. Each class (I have six) will elect one board member. These board members will meet and decide on which loaning opportunities to choose on Kiva.com
Fortunately Kiva has a low barrier for entry, it only takes $25 to get started. While this is a very large amount of money for my students, if each student brings just $1 we will have almost $150 to lend! Basically I am asking they give up one candy bar or pop to help change someone's life.
The students will have lots of learning opportunities, we will be learning about the countries where we loan the money, about payment schedules, about how to be a good steward of money, how to make group decisions, and the board members will be presenting all of this information to their classes.
Hopefully within a couple weeks we will have something to show on this badge.