Southwind KIVA Club Celebrates 100th Loan

Cheers went out this past Friday, April 11th, as students in Ms. Kavass’s Economics class and members of the Southwind High School KIVA Club made their 100th loan! Two years ago, Southwind was the first high school in the state of Tennessee to open a KIVA Club (microfinance club – part of KIVA U) and since then our membership has grown from 22 students to over 150 students.

Our goal at that time was to make 100 loans within the first two years. To date, we have made 101 loans to 49 countries including the United States. Microfinance is the lending of small amounts of money to individuals that normally do not qualify for conventional bank loans due to a lack of collateral. Worldwide, the use of microfinance loans has enabled individuals living in poverty to become entrepreneurs to rise out of poverty and reliance on aid to a more secure standard of living and long-term sustainability.

In addition to fundraising all year long to make loans, KIVA Club members perform community service every month at various organizations in the Greater Memphis area, maintain an active website to spread awareness of global issues and microfinance (http://shskivamemphis.weebly.com), collaborate with other high schools throughout the United States to research poverty and microfinance to promote economic growth and development, produce video documentaries on various global and national issues, travel to see microfinance in action first-hand, speak and attend national Global Youth Conferences, and work with other local organizations to aid in the eradication of poverty.

For the coming year, we are focused on continuing our collaborations with other high schools both in the Memphis area and overseas. We are also committed to sharing our knowledge with elementary school students and get them involved with their own projects to help eradicate poverty. Finally, we plan on increasing our community service hours to work in parts of Memphis that sustain the highest poverty and unemployment rates.

GCC is proud to be an advisor for Southwind High School’s Economics class. If your school is interested in working with Southwind High School, please contact Biba S. Kavass at [email protected]