Sunday, July 11, 2010

Small deeds changing lives - Nonfiction Monday

A MT student recently reminded me about One hen: how one small loan made a big difference (823 M6380 PIC BK) and then, as these things often happen, I  found out (see PaperTigers ) that the book had led to the creation of a non-profit organization One Hen, Inc. which recently celebrated its first anniversary, May 7th, 2010. (I know I missed the boat but I was so thrilled to discover this, I just had to share.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t get all the specifics on how the student had used the book in her class (elementary level, I believe) but she was very excited about how helpful it had been.  It had made accessible the idea of individuals helping each other and specifically, how this is accomplished through micro-financing.  I can see some interesting connections between math and social studies/social issues with this one.  Check out the website One Hen  for more teaching ideas.

One hen tells of Kojo, a boy from Ghana who uses a small amount of money to purchase a hen that will both help feed him and his mother but also supply eggs that he can sell for profit.  By saving his money, Kojo is able to increase the size of his flock thereby earning enough money to return to school.  His hard work at school earns him a scholarship that leads to college and learning more about raising poultry. Eventually, he qualifies for a small bank loan that enables his business to flourish.  His many employees now benefit from that initial small loan and that first hen.
Though Kojo is fictional, this is based on the true story of Kwabena Darko who did establish a successful poultry farm in Ghana in a similar way (though not exactly as described in the story).  He established a small-loan lending organization (Sinapi Aba) to help Ghanaians build small businesses after an employee asked him for help setting up his own business.

The book lists several organizations that provide loans in this way.  It was through this book that I learned about an international micro-financing organization that allows individuals such as me and coincidentally, the MT student who had reminded me about the book, to loan amounts as small as $25 to people from around the world.  It’s been great learning about how people are trying to improve their lives in such varying circumstances.

Join Nonfiction Monday Roundup by clicking on the box below to go to Abby the Librarian  blog and see a list of recent blogs dedicated to highlighting nonfiction resources.
Nonfiction Monday


shelf-employed said...

Another book that pairs well with this one is Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier. In a similar fashion, it explains how a gift of a a single goat by the non-profit Heifer Project ( lift many families out of poverty. It's always good to remind children and ourselves that individuals really can make a difference.

Jeff Barger said...

Thanks for posting about this book! It would work really well with an elementary school unit on economics.

Tammy said...

I agree Jeff. It's always great when there is cross over between content areas.

Tammy said...

Thanks for the recommendation. It's only recently that I learned about the Heifer Project. Again, it's all about 'small' actions having a big impact.

Template Design | Elque 2007