As a club we finance small microloans via KIVA, a non profit organisation. We always choose to help a woman needing financial help for her small business and for $25 learn a little about their lives.
We currently loan to 5 women. In the Solomon Isles, Tonga, Albania, Guatemala and Thailand. These women form the basis of an educational day we provide to seconday schools. Usually towards the end of the school year we take the leavers for a day. We split them into groups with 2 or more Soroptimists leading each group, each group takes one of the women and studies the country she comes from. They find their country on a world map and then have fun researching the topology, language, religion, sports and anything else they fancy, writing down everything they learn. We also ask them to convert the currency to £ sterling and US dollars, so they use mathematics, logic, reading, writing, and many other skills throughout the day. Each group gives a presentation on their country. They also give a small play about their lady and why she needs the money, usually accompanied by many giggles and hoots of laughter. Finally they are given $25 and have to decide who they will loan it to, which certainly makes them think about their own lives and how lucky they are in comparison.
We leave a certificate of participation for each child, which we hope will remind them of their ‘kiva’ day. It’s a day everyone, including us, enjoys enormously.