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© 2016 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Teaching Children the Power of Microfinance: Sidwell Friend’s School in Washington D.C.

By Ruth-Anne Renaud

The 6th graders at Sidwell Friend’s School in Washington D.C. eagerly welcomed Katie Smith Milway this morning, author of children’s book, One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, a story that teaches children the power of microfinance to transform lives. This occasion marks the beginning of multiple events in D.C. this weekend as Katie prepares to receive the award for Best Book for Young Children on Saturday at the Children’s Africana Book Awards Ceremony.

Thanks to Kids Can Presspublisher, each 6th grade student at Sidwell was provided with a copy of One Hen prior to today’s program and they were full of insightful thoughts and questions about Katie’s book and the One Hen website. After reading a short passage from the book, Katie engaged the children in a role-play and discussion about poverty, microfinance, social entrepreneurship and making a difference.

“The idea that one small boy with one small idea can make a huge difference for not only himself, but an entire community empowers children to be a part of something larger than themselves,” said Katie Smith Milway

The One Hen tale is inspired by the life of Dr. Kwabena Darko, who received his first microfinance loan in the late 1960s and is now one of the largest chicken farmers in West Africa. Darko was instrumental in building Opportunity International’s organization in Ghana. The story illustrates the difference people can make in their own lives by taking personal initiative, and the difference they can make in other’s by giving back.

I’m grateful to Katie for allowing me to join her this weekend as she speaks about One Hen and its innovative approach to connecting kids with global issues.  Opportunity International is encouraged by Katie’s efforts to teach children about microfinance, as we, too, seek to engage children to inspire the next generation of global citizens and philanthropists.

Stay tuned, as we will be sharing a series of blogs over the next few days as we travel throughout D.C. with Katie Smith Milway, engaging with One Hen supporters and receiving her award for Best Book for Young Children.

The Women’s Opportunity Network (WON) champions Opportunity’s partnership with One Hen – providing volunteers with the tools to take One Hen into the classroom, to girl scout and boy scout troops, church groups and community groups.

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