Kiva Website Poster Image

Kiva

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Micro-loan site gives everyone the chance to help.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kiva's lending system is a great way to involve the whole family in exploring social responsibility and making a difference.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Kiva gives people the opportunity to make loans to small business owners in third-world countries. Through clear text and video, Kiva's shows the impact that even a small loan can make for a struggling business. While the graphics used are simple, they're not necessarily geared toward kids. And descriptions can be a bit text-heavy, which makes Kiva best suited for a family learning activity.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • global awareness
  • the economy

Skills

Responsibility & Ethics

  • fiscal responsibility
  • learning from consequences
  • respect for others

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kiva makes lending to business owners in third-world countries seem personal and real. Kids will get the sense that they're helping change lives for the better.

Learning Approach

Kids read summaries of potential loan recipients, then make their choice, lending money to someone whose story they've connected with. Kids get updates and the sense that, over time, they're helping change lives for the better.

Support

The overviews of potential loan recipients are very thorough. Risk and repayment rate are all fully disclosed. The graphics and descriptions aren't necessarily geared toward kids.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • global awareness
  • the economy

Skills

Responsibility & Ethics

  • fiscal responsibility
  • learning from consequences
  • respect for others

Kids can learn concepts of lending and repaying money. They'll get a balanced view of the everyday lives of people in countries with very different economic and cultural backgrounds than here in the US.  Kids will also be intrigued to see how far $25 goes in other countries, opening the door to discuss how money works around the world. Kiva's lending system is a great way to involve the whole family in exploring social responsibility and making a difference.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

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What's it about?

Kiva gives individuals, families, and groups the opportunity to invest as little as $25 in businesses in impoverished areas around the world. Kids can learn about people like Silvia in Nicaragua, who needs a new roof for her beauty shop and Norma, who owns a food stall in Bolivia and would be helped by an industrial food slicer. Kids can search for a borrower to fund based on industry (including food, construction, and retail), gender, and even whether or not they're in a conflict zone. Risk and repayment rate (98.95% at the time this review was written) are all fully disclosed.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

As a family activity, loaning through Kiva is a pretty cool thing to do. Kids should love the process of picking the folks they want to lend to! Through pictures and a short write-up of each business and the faces behind it, they'll discover that there are lots of ways to make a living. Kiva isn't geared directly towards kid-only usage, so it would be a good idea to sit down at the computer along with your child and talk through the steps (also a fantastic classroom activity!) and answer the questions they're bound to have about poverty in other countries.

They'll learn what it takes to make a small business grow, the difference between giving and lending, what it means to lend money to those in need, and, when loans get repaid, personal accountability. They'll appreciate the details of each person's story, making lending through Kiva seem personal and real. And here's the fun part: when a loan is repaid, families get to choose a new person or business to share that money with. That's exciting!

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about challenges other countries may have (extreme poverty, no clean drinking water, etc.) that kids may not have a full understanding of. What would be different about starting a farming business in Burma as opposed to Montana?

  • What are some different ways that people make a living? How do you think they got started?

Website details

Genre:Civic Engagement
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Kiva was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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