Through a partnership between Kiva and Citi Microfinance, more than 150 college and high school student leaders and educators from around the world with an interest in critical issues around financial inclusion are gathering this weekend for the first-ever Kiva U Summit.
Kiva U is an initiative to enable students and educators to reach beyond the walls of the classroom for real-world learning and engagement on critical issues around microfinance, financial literacy and access, and grassroots leadership. The Kiva U Summit is being held now through October 14 at the HUB in San Francisco, California.
Kiva U, launched in August, is an ambitious initiative to build, strengthen and connect school-based microfinance clubs across the nation, develop teaching tools for experiential learning across education levels and foster leadership among students active in social enterprise, international development and financial inclusion. Young people and teachers cancreate and join Kiva U teams in the Kiva online community, connect with like-minded peers, and access resources to become experts and take action.
“A generational shift in global engagement is occurring. New technologies, like those leveraged by Kiva, are enabling young people to engage as global citizens in ways that were impossible even just a few years ago,” said Kiva President Premal Shah. “Kiva U provides the platform and the tools for students to learn about and take real-world action on critical issues, from global poverty to financial inclusion.”
Kiva Chapters exist at 67 colleges and 60 high schools, and more than 2,400 additional school-based Kiva lending teams have been established around the world. The launch of Kiva U accelerated that momentum, with an additional 8,000 students joining teams and an additional 450 new student teams formed in just the past six weeks.
With all expenses aside from transportation covered, Kiva U Summit attendees will have the opportunity to work directly with experts in microfinance and global development to explore the most challenging problems around financial access and economic development. Through a series of intensive workshops, plenaries, and face-to-face peer interaction, attendees will depart equipped with the knowledge and tools to mobilize their campuses and classrooms around poverty alleviation through microlending.
“Only weeks after launching, Kiva U is already showing great promise in raising awareness and enthusiasm around peer-to-peer microlending by providing an enhanced platform for students and educators to connect and learn from each other,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development. “This weekend’s Kiva U Summit will equip participants with the knowledge and tools they need to grow the Kiva U network, further amplify Kiva U’s lessons, and spur even more classroom and campus engagement.”
In addition to Shah and Annibale, Kiva U Summit attendees will learn from a roster of influential names, including Kiva Co-Founder & CEO Matt Flannery, Accion USA CEO Gina Harman, and travel writer Bob Harris, whose seminal book The International Bank of Bobhelped catalyze awareness around the power of the Kiva model to connect resources around the world to improve lives.