For the past several months, students at Sackett Educational Center have been participating in a unique opportunity to help causes and charities around the world. Partnering with international nonprofit, Kiva, students have allocated over $1,000 to beneficiaries around the world.

Kiva crowdfunds loans to fund various charitable projects or causes around the world. Projects can range from helping poverty-stricken nations and communities build schools or provide food or healthcare to supporting single parents around the world looking to better provide for their families.

Through KivaU – a branch of the organization dedicated to working with students and educators – Sackett received $1,000 of donor funds to allocate to projects of their choosing. Students and staff at Sackett have donated additional funds to the project. So far, Sackett’s Lending Team has donated $1,150 dollars to 45 projects in 20 countries in North America, Central America, South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Because of Sackett’s work with Kiva, they’ve helped a man in Colombia buy chickens to raise; a Vietnamese woman purchase books, school supplies and an electric bicycle and pay school fees for her children; a Palestinian man buy medical equipment and devices for his clinic; and many others.

Senior Owen Kunhardt has taken the lead role in organizing the project under the supervision of social studies teacher Joal Bova.

“One of my favorite things with the project was in one class, kids actually grouped up together to fully fund one project, where others just pick and choose on their own what they want to support,” Owen said.

Owen is graduating early in January, and hopes to attend a CUNY school beginning in the fall to pursue a degree in computer science or engineering.

Mr. Bova says the project has helped connect his students to the global community and recognize and research areas, causes or problems they might not have otherwise learned about.

“Knowledge is great – but then how do you apply that? How do you take some informed action to make the world a better place? What are the conditions on the ground in these different places that have caused some of these issues that result in the need?”

Owen is also taking an independent economics course this semester, and the work he’s done leading Sackett’s Kiva project has tied into his work in that class. He is also scheduled to present the project to the Questar III Board of Education at their January meeting.

“They’ve given me a lot of independence where I’ve been able to learn new things on my own at my pace, and they’ve also offered the support to help me with things I didn’t understand so I can go above and beyond,” said Owen.

See all the projects the Sackett team has supported at their team page.

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