Students CHANGE-ing lives around the world

Brianna Nelson, Staff Writer

From pocket change to funding for a small business, microlending, the lending of small amounts of money to a person or group of people to help start a small business, is impacting people all over the world. That impact is exactly what social studies teacher David Dingler wants from his students.
This year the students in his Globalization and Sustainability class are collecting money to loan to people who are trying to start or grow their business.
“You give a loan to a small business just about anywhere around the world, like the United States or Ecuador or Kenya, and then they pay you back a 99% repayment rate. Then you take that money that they paid you and give it to someone else,” Dingler said.
The Globalization and Sustainability class is microlending through the website KIVA.org, which has had over one billion dollars in loans and has helped people in more than 80 countries on five continents.
“Anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition,” says KIVA’s website.
When microlending through KIVA, loans can be as small as 25 dollars, and that money will go towards improving somebody’s life.
Through this experience, Dingler hopes to show his students that microlending is a simple and effective way to help people around the world.
“In the Globalization and Sustainability class, we talk a lot about how we can help people and how we can change things around the world,” Dingler said. “I think it is important to teach kids that even the smallest little contribution can make a difference.”