Quaker Valley students make a big difference with small donations to Kiva

In recent years, QVMS has raised over $20,000 to help those in need worldwide.


Zahra Udaipurwala

QVMS sixth graders get set to push the lend button and change someone's reality.

Zahra Udaipurwala, Staff Reporter

Imagine sitting at home and reading a real story of struggle. It’s about a man who resides in Pakistan; he has the responsibility of getting two of his sisters married, providing food for a family of six people, paying the bills, and funding his brother through college.

The only problem his he has no degree, no job, and not enough money to continue his business.

Or, perhaps, it’s about a woman in Burkina Faso: a divorcee with six children to feed and shelter. She works as a food caterer, making meals in her kitchen, for a living. However, her house was completely destroyed in a riot. She needs to repair her house not only to shelter her kids, but also to earn for them as well.

It is so easy to help fund this woman.  With Kiva, you can donate as little as $25 to change an entire life.

This is not a fantasy charity.  In fact, it is happening right here in Quaker Valley Middle School. Through the help of a website named Kiva, people are able to lend help in increments of 25 dollars; these 25 dollar donations can go to anyone around the world who is asking for help.  The donor chooses a case that relates to a cause that he or she believes in personally.

Lending money on little or no interest is a great way to help because you can check the progress of the cause to which you donated, and you also know exactly how you helped someone in a different part of the world.

In recent years, Quaker Valley Middle School has hosted a 5K race to support Kiva.  The Kiva 5K was started by a seventh grade World History teacher, Mr. John Doucette.

He says, “I began Kiva at QVMS because at the time I was teaching the class about the Eastern Hemisphere. I thought that by helping this part of the country, my class could learn more about the people and their lives.”

Quaker Valley Middle School raises money for Kiva through hosting the race. In the recent years, QV’s impact on Kiva has been tremendous. The account started with 800 dollars in 2014, moved to roughly 6,000 dollars in 2015, and generated approximately 14,400 dollars in 2016. QV has already loaned 23,000 dollars, helped in 63 different countries, and has made a total of 645 loans.

Adding to this excitement, sixth graders at Quaker Valley Middle School have had the opportunity to make one individual loan of $25 to anyone who needed help. Each sixth grader chose one person to help. Many students even decided to help in groups so that they could completely fund someone.

Students not only had the chance to lend money, but to also see the difference they could make somewhere across the globe. Some expressed that clicking the lend button brought an unexplainable joy to their hearts. They said that just knowing that you can help someone really in need makes you feel good about yourself. One girl in particular, Anjo Pagbeleguem, managed to find her uncle on Kiva.

The sixth graders are continuing to make an impact around the world and learning about the different stories of different people in different countries through Kiva. They do not have to imagine doing that in a classroom. The best part is when they go home to tell their friends and family about their wonderful deeds. Their donations will return soon to go out to yet another person in need, continuing to prove Kiva’s impact.

“It is important to help something like Kiva because if we can help people in need, we should step up and do it,” said Mr. Doucette.

Learn more about Kiva and how you can make a difference at https://www.kiva.org/.