It's a wonderful story inspired by true events. A boy from Ghana, named Kojo, turns a small loan into a thriving business that benefits his family, his village, and ultimately his country. Many lives improve as a result of one micro-loan. It was inspired by a real man- Kwabena Darko- who benefited from a similar small loan.
I first learned about microfinance when Muhammad Yunus' won the Nobel Peace Prices in 2006. The idea is simple- lend a small amount of money, often as little as $25, to a person who wants to start a small business. In the case of Yunus' bank, Grameen Bank, the loans were made to women. Other organizations may encourage a village to work together to secure a loan with one person benefiting initially. Once that person repays the debt, another person takes the loan and so on.
An amazing 97% of the loans are repaid because each beneficiary knows that another person is waiting for their opportunity for a better life. Loans may be used to buy a sewing machine to sew clothing to sell, or a vegetable cart to transport vegetables to market. Or in the case of Kwabena- to buy laying hens.
This book and microfinance offer a wonderful opportunity for opening your children's eyes to what they can do a citizens of the world to help others in need. My family has made loans through Kiva.org, an on-line organization that lets individuals lend as little as $25 to alleviate poverty. There are many other organizations that do similar work. The One Hen website offers an overview of 6 organization you might consider, including Yunus' Grameen bank and Kiva. If you are called to Christian work, Opportunity International provides "Christian Microfinance."
I hope you'll visit the One Hen website to learn how you and your students/children can participate in microfinance. There's a section titled, "Resources for Parents" and another for "Teachers and Librarians" that provide lesson plans and curriculum connections.
Have you heard of Microfinance? Have you provided a microloan? Please share your stories.
Tree frogs anyone? (Volume up!) There was such a racket at my parents’ house last night. #nature
Seen on my morning walk. #nature #getoutside
My walk on Friday took me through several ecosystems, from a climax stage forest populated with beeches and maples, out to a lake, then back through climax forest and through a new section of forest populated by white pines, until I came out to a field that is gradually becoming forest again (See those white pines along the edges in the second video? Each year they move further into the field). I always notice the changes in plants and animals I see, but on Friday, the changes in sound were striking. Turn your volume up! Near the lake, where a slow moving brook empties in, frogs and songbirds dominated. In the field, it was insects and songbirds. #nature #getoutside
Anyone who knows me “in real life” knows that I’m not a big junk food eater. I’m the girl who can literally eat one chip and be done. But I am ridiculously excited to have some of these Irish crisps tonight. I haven’t had them since we moved home from #Dublin. #homesick
Hey KidLit friends: Karen Boss and I are looking forward to facilitating this workshop later today. I just learned that there are spots available and you CAN register late. Join us! #kidlit #nonfiction
I started my day with a walk in the woods that lead me to the lake. I sat in the sand for a while and was serenaded by a chorus of bullfrogs and songbirds while a woodpecker banged out a rhythm. It was a good way to start a day. #nature #calm #nofilter
In addition to planting the veggie garden I posted about yesterday, I’ve also been tending to the flower gardens in our front yard. Some plants are long established, but I’ve also added about 30 new perennials. I mix a variety of herbs such as sage, fennel, lavender, rosemary, and Bee Balm right in with the other flowers.
The gardens have along way to go before they’ll be filled out the way I want, but we have some gorgeous flowers right now. Some special ones in these images: the deep purple irises are splits from my uncle Gene’s garden. My mom grew the lupine from seed. The small bright pink flowers came from my great-aunt Lucille’s garden (my maternal grandmother’s sister). The white and purple irises came from my maternal great-grandmother, Albertine’s garden (They came to me by way of my Mom’s garden). #gardening #nature #getoutside
Its been a busy few weeks in the yard. One big project was to rebuild and plant our raised beds. My husband @rcusol and daughter built the new beds. Then my husband, son, and dad filled them with soil/compost. My job was to plant them. We have (lots of) sweet basil, Thai basil, purple basil, 3 kinds of tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini (courgette), jalapeño pepper, cayenne pepper, eggplant (aubergine) marjoram, parsley, Chinese long beans (red noodle beans), and bell peppers already growing. I also seeded in rainbow beets, watermelon radishes, arugula, Brussels sprouts, Chard, several kinds of lettuce/greens. We still need to lay out the soaker hoses and mulch. #getoutside #veggiegarden
Waiting for the show to start. #PPAC Thanks @tsarina222!
My parents took a road trip yesterday so my kids and I cared for this little one. The mother died shortly after childbirth, so my mom has been bottle feeding it. Look at that tail wag! A sure sign of a happy lamb. #farmlife