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STUDENT REFLECTIONS First Year Experience 2013 Truman Lecture Series

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STUDENT REFLECTIONS First Year Experience 2013 Truman Lecture Series

e Preface From Bob Harris, author, The International Bank of Bob The people of Avila University — faculty, students, staff, and even their friends in the community alike — consistently display an exemplary commitment to a better world. It was honor enough for me to be invited to visit the campus and speak about Kiva, microfinance, and other ways we can all try every day to help our neighbors, near and far. To now read the students’ reactions to the work, learn more of their ongoing involvement, and see it becoming a part of their own missions in the world, I can only feel even more honored, humble and grateful. As you read this collection and consider that their own wisdom and experiences will only grow, I hope you will feel as hopeful and excited for all of our futures as I do. With my highest best wishes and gratitude, Bob Harris

Avila University Mission Avila University, a Catholic University sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is a values-based community of learning providing liberal arts, professional, undergraduate and graduate education to prepare students for responsible lifelong contributions to the global community.

Avila University • • 11901 Wornall Road • Kansas City, Missouri 64145 • 816.942.8400 Avila University Press, 2014. All rights reserved.


Avila Community Values

e Excellence in teaching and learning e The Catholic identity of the University


e The sponsorship and contribution of the Sisters of St. Joseph e The worth, dignity, and potential of each human being e Diversity and its expression e Commitment to the continual growth of the whole person e Interaction with and service to others

he Avila University mission and values LIVE! They were the heart of a project the University recently embarked upon with our first year students. We are a values based community committed to preparing our students to contribute to our global world. This publication serves as the culmination of a series of experiences shared among our first year students (Appendix A). Below is the story of what began this experience.

Each year, Avila selects a common reading for our first year students. Students have the summer to read the selected book and respond with an essay prior to the start of fall class. Additionally, the University dedicates the Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture to the selected book. To compliment these experiences, all first year students enroll in a fall semester class, First Year Seminar, which provides an opportunity to further expand on topics within the book. The book selected for the 2013-2014 academic year was The International Bank of Bob (Harris, 2013). In this book, Bob Harris shares how he became inspired through microloaning. Harris was hired by to review luxurious accommodations around the world. During these trips he observed impoverished workers labor in horrible conditions while he stayed in accommodations of wealth beyond anything he had ever experienced. Harris wanted to do something to help make the lives of these laborers better. He found and began making $25 microloans to individuals all over the world to help finance their businesses. He made hundreds of these loans and felt moved to see the results for himself. He traveled to places such as Sarajevo, Cambodia and Rwanda to visit those individuals who had received his microloan. Harris introduced Avila to microloaning and made it clear that every person is capable of inspiring others. Avila University was thrilled to hear from Harris first hand! In September 2013, Bob Harris traveled to Avila to present the 2013 Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture (Appendix B). With the same humor and compassion as was displayed in his book, Harris shared his story to a crowd of nearly 500. The University also hosted a panel comprised of individuals who have a true passion for the spirit of microloans and have dedicated themselves to further the cause. The panel included Bob Regnier, Chairman, President & CEO of

Bank of Blue Valley; JoAnn Field, Founder, KC Women Go Global; and Robert W. Hatch, Chairman, FINCA International. The panelists reminded us of the remarkable people who live in our world who need only a microloan to lift up their own circumstances and communities. Through T-shirt sales and donations from many giving people, including our neighbors at St. Thomas More Parish, more than $9,000 was raised! Due to generous individuals who shared in the passion for microloaning, every first year student and First Year Seminar instructor was able to make a $25 microloan. The fundraising was so successful Avila was also able to sponsor a Village Bank through FINCA (Appendix C). The great people of FINCA allowed our first year students to vote on the location of the bank, and the students selected Zambia. In October, our first year students began making $25 loans through Kiva (Appendix D) and FINCA (Appendix D). They began reaching all parts of our world and all types of businesses. For six weeks the first year students researched their loan, gathered specific information about the loan recipient, their particular business and the country/town in which they live, and followed the progress of their recipient. For the culminating project of First Year Seminar, students submitted a reflection essay sharing their microloan experience. They reflected on why they chose the particular loan recipient, how the experience impacted their thinking on microfinance, how this experience impacted their personal Calling or Vocation, and how the experience connected to Avila’s mission and values. This publication is a compilation of several reflections and excerpts submitted for the culminating project by our first year students. We are proud of our mission and values and humbled to have the opportunity to allow our first year students to live them out. I hope you enjoy reading their reflections! Paige Illum, Ph.D. Coordinator of First Year Experience Coordinator of Retention Adjunct Faculty Avila University Works Cited Harris, Bob. (2013). The International Bank of Bob. New York, NY: Walker Publishing Company.




big “thank you” to our University President, Ron Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA! It was Dr. Slepitza who read The International Bank of Bob and passed it along as a recommendation to the Common Reading Program Committee. Without this simple act, no one would be reading this publication today. Thanks for spotting a good one! A special acknowledgment and many thanks to Bob Harris, author, The International Bank of Bob, who was gracious, informative and humorous. He was simply a delight to all who he encountered while visiting and we were blessed to host him at Avila University. Many thanks to Bob Regnier and The Bank of Blue Valley, who made our visit with Bob Harris possible. Our community partners, KC Studio Magazine and Rainy Day Books, were extremely helpful in spreading our message. Thank you for your commitment to our community and education. Thank you to our outstanding Microloan Panel comprised of Bob Regnier, Chairman, President & CEO of Bank of Blue Valley; JoAnn Field, Founder, KC Women Go Global; and Robert W. Hatch, Chairman, FINCA International. Your passion for making a difference is admired and appreciated. Thank you St. Thomas More Parish! You allowed us to share our excitement about this project with your congregation who embraced the idea and moved us to make more loans than we initially thought possible. Thank you to Rachel Beard, First Year Seminar student mentor, for having the insight and follow through to make it all happen. Thank you to the Avila University Common Reading Program Committee led by Dr. Paige Illum. Members were Jaimie Hartter, Kara Koehler, Dr. Sue Ellen McCalley and Dr. Amy Milakovic. Collectively, the committee reviewed over 50 books before the discovery of The International Bank of Bob! The Truman Lecture Series Committee brought the book to life on the Avila campus! Through the extreme hard work of Robert Foulk,


Angela Heer, Dr. Paige Illum, Ann O’Meara and the insightful leadership of Dr. Sue Ellen McCalley, our students gained important life lessons. Thank you! Many thanks to Angela Heer, Vice President of Advancement & External Relations, and Ann O’Meara, Assistant Vice President of Marketing & Communications, for their countless hours of dedicated work to make this entire experience a success. And to Maureen Reardon, designer of this reflection book, for her wonderful creative and on-target project management skills. Many thanks to the members of the Office of Marketing and Communication, the Advancement Office and the Theatre Department who helped implement a flawless series of events and festivities surrounding the Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture. Thank you for your excellent attention to detail and expertise in your respective areas. Through the tireless efforts of our First Year Seminar Instructors, our students were able to experience the beauty and process of microfinancing first hand. A great deal was asked of all of these individuals who were always cooperative and dedicated. You all DID make a difference. Thank you to Dave Armstrong, Jason Baldwin, Joe Barnhill, Crystal Bruntz, Bailey Carr, Linda Dubar, Carol Frevert, Darby Gough, Jaimie Hartter, Paige Illum, Kristi Littleton, Anna McDonald, Alicia Murillo, Julie Schneider, Linda Strelluf, Sarah Sullivan and Janine Urness. Lastly, thank you to all of the Avila University first year students. You took this project seriously and opened your minds and hearts.



t n o

Ta b le o f C 4 Preface

5 Introduction 6 Acknowledgements 9 Student Reflections 22 Excerpts from Student Reflections 30 Appendix A: Avila First Year Students 31 Appendix B: Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture Program 32 Appendix C: Avila University FINCA Village Bank in Zambia 33 Appendix D: Students Kiva and FINCA Loan Portfolio




A Reflection on An Enlightening Journey e Olivia Deeken


ll my life I have been an avid reader. Books were a safe haven, an adventure, a home away from home. When I reopen a book I have read previously, out pour the memories. One of my favorite aspects of books, however, is the fact they provide a whole new view of the world. The view may not even be of the world in which we live now but of a future world, a past world, or just a whole new world entirely. Reflecting on this past semester’s experiences such as meeting Bob Harris, delving into microfinance, and selecting our own loans, all of it began with the insights and inspirations of one book: The International Bank of Bob.

In The International Bank of Bob, Bob Harris described his journey of supplying microloans to people around the world and the subsequent trips he took visiting the recipients. Now, I too, can proudly say that I, along with my partner Jessie Hopkins, have made a loan. My first loan was made to Susan Michelo, a 46-year-old widow from Lusaka, Zambia. Susan supports her daughter and her two nieces from the income she earns selling tomatoes and rare chickens from a stall she has in the local market. Through FINCA Susan is currently seeking the funding of a $1,000 loan in which she plans to further invest and expand her business. Susan was originally inspired by other women in her community whose businesses had grown successfully due to the funding they had received through FINCA loans. Susan described herself as being hopeful, not only for her future, but for the future of other hardworking men and women’s businesses that have been aided by FINCA loans. Susan’s brief biography was like a compelling excerpt on the back of a book jacket. I found it to be inspiring, and if Susan’s profile was a book I would definitely read it. Certain aspects that inspired me to select Susan’s loan was one, she is a hardworking, single mother taking care of three girls, two of which are not even her biological daughters. This dedication to her family certainly appealed to me because my family is the most important part of my life as well. In addition to her familial devotion, I was also drawn to Susan because of the initiative she showed. Susan used her admiration of other women’s success and took action. She joined her local Bupe Village Bank getting one step closer to her first FINCA loan and making her dreams become a reality. Because of her initiative, Susan has had several loans successfully financed. It is my hope, with this loan selection, that Susan will continue to expand her business, provide savings for her girls, inspire other women just as she was inspired, and advocate for further FINCA success. This entire microfinance experience has been more enlightening than most of the books I have ever read. As a result, my ideas regarding charity and microfinance have been impacted. Charity of course is still a wonderful concept, because it is an act of giving generously to others in need or to special causes that one finds particularly important. Microfinance, in a like manner, is also a way of helping people who

otherwise may not have the resources to help themselves. However, microfinance, unlike charity, is not giving but lending. It is a way for other people to help their neighbors from around the world to do what they do best. For example, Susan Michelo knows how to successfully market her tomatoes and chickens; however, she simply did not have the resources to expand her business and make a profit. Therefore, microfinance is more of a tool or a step up rather than a simple handout. Not only has this experience changed my interpretation of charity and microfinance, but it has also altered my view of the world. By reading The International Bank of Bob, meeting its author, and reading about all the potential loan recipients, I realized that people regardless of where they are located on the global map, are inherently the same. We all love our families, we want what is best for them, and we want to have a successful life. It is as simple as that. If this entire process/experience was a book, one of the most important themes would clearly be helping others. Microlending, as I mentioned before, is a mechanism used to help people to help themselves. Similarly, a social worker is also a mechanism or a go between for people to get the services they need. Therefore, this microlending experience further reinforced my calling and my passion of helping others. Not only did this experience reinforce my previous values, but it also expanded the scope of what I thought I could do. For example, I always knew that I could make an impact and help others in my local community, but through this process of microlending I realized that I could make a huge impact from around the world by doing something as simple as clicking around online. This microlending process also exemplified Avila’s community values. Microlending encourages the idea of the worth, dignity, diversity, and potential of each human being by believing that with a little lending these individuals can produce grand results. Plus, these microfinancing institutions provide other services such as healthcare, financial management skills, etc. which promote the continual growth of the whole person, a value that is also especially important to the Avila institution. Like a good book, this experience was highly enjoyable. Moreover, I tend to reread good books. Thus, I would like to continue my microlending journey. Lending is so simple that it is hard to not want to contribute again – to impact more lives. I am extremely grateful to be a part of such an enlightening experience. In conclusion, yes, if my experiences with microlending were put in a book, I would reread it again and again. Works Cited “Fund the Loan of Struggling Entrepreneurs – Lend a Hand.” FINCA., 2013. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.

Harris, Bob. (2013). The International Bank of Bob. New York, NY: Walker Publishing Company.

Major: Social Work Hometown: Westphalia, Mo


Culminating Project e Bailey Reardon


icture this: 6,090,646 people scurrying around the country of El Salvador which is approximately the size of Massachusetts. With the average annual income of a Salvadorian family being around $4,900, it is obvious that making ends meet is a difficult task for some families in El Salvador. Food and water is considered to be scarce, and a few shirts and a couple pairs of pants are all of the clothing that most people have. Money may be tight, but the love and hope that these people share amongst one another is never-ending.

with making ends meet? What if I were not able to put food on the table for my children? I just stop and think; if this were me, I, too, would want someone nice and caring to come along and lend me the money I needed to get back on my feet. Financial struggles can happen to anyone no matter what country they live in, or how they were raised. It is heartwarming to know fortunate kids like us are able to give back to the less fortunate and make things much easier for someone who couldn’t quite do it for themselves.

In El Salvador, small and medium enterprises account for almost all of Salvadoran businesses, employing more than one-third of El Salvador’s workforce and contributing nearly half of the country’s gross domestic product. Business owners like Dolores Margarita are the people that portray an amazing image of the type of people that live in El Salvador. More specifically, people who are similar to Dolores Margarita are what make El Salvador such a great place to raise a family and a great place to own a business. For the last nine years, our loan recipient, Dolores Margarita, has run a business which sells clothing, shoes, and essential items to the people of her community. Though she learned all of her trade skills from her mother, the way Dolores’ business is currently run, it is not meeting her family’s needs. After qualifying for a Kiva loan, Dolores has decided she will use her loan to purchase clothing, shoes, paper goods, plates, and cups. Purchasing these items will allow her to have more products for sale, improve her income, and benefit the family’s nutrition. Personally, this will help Dolores expand her business, open three stores, meet goals, and realize her dreams of a decent lifestyle.

This experience has not only impacted my feelings toward giving back to others, but I feel that this opportunity goes hand in hand with the career path I have chosen. Becoming a nurse, I know that not a day will go by without helping someone in a positive way, and impacting a person’s life in a positive way, too. Many people fall, and people like me are there to pick them back up when times get tough. Being able to say that about myself is an amazing feeling. As an Avila student, I have been taught to interact with and serve others, and I have learned to value the worth, dignity, and potential of each human being. I know that my loan recipient, Dolores, has potential, and her abilities to help others before helping herself is worth more than anything. I know that providing Dolores with a Kiva loan will be taken far in the best way possible. I know that Dolores will use this money to improve her services in every way possible for the sake of helping others. As I mentioned earlier, this Kiva loan opportunity will definitely become something that I do again. I want be able to help others in places who need it most, in hopes of changing someone’s life.

During the loan selection process, I had a person just like Dolores Margarita in mind. I was hoping to find someone who had a passion for providing the people of their community with necessities. People who have tight funds don’t need extra belongings, but they will always need clothes and clean dining ware with which to eat their food. Dolores, who sells the basic necessities to the people of her village, was struggling. Knowing that people depend on her for their basic needs, I decided to give my Kiva loan to her so she could continuously help people. As I was selecting this loan, I was hoping that I, too, was going to be able help someone in need. It’s an amazing feeling seeing people who are in such a slump, completely turn their lives around with the help of just one person. Though Kiva loans may not be something we personally need, many people depend on these loans just to provide for their families. I know that loan recipients like Dolores wouldn’t be making such an impact on other peoples’ lives with their products, if I wasn’t impacting them with providing them with a loan. Before I had the opportunity to give a Kiva loan, I didn’t exactly understand microfinancing. I didn’t understand what it meant to give a microloan, nor did I understand the purpose. Though giving to charities all over the world has always been a “norm” for me, I will now consider microfinancing to be, as well. When I hear peoples’ heart-wrenching stories, I always try and put myself in their shoes. What if I were struggling

As a person, I feel that this loan process has had a very uplifting impact on my life. It has changed me for the better, to a person who is willing to give to others to better their lives. I have shared the idea of Kiva loans with numerous people in hopes that they, too, will begin providing people in need with small loans to better their business as an entrepreneur. People who are less fortunate have to put in a weeks worth of work just to have dinner on the table, where I, as a very fortunate American, have grown used to a warm dinner every night. After comparing what I have now, to what other people have, I am glad I am finally coming to the realization that every single person, no matter where they are from, deserve to be able to put dinner on their table and provide for their families. The Kiva loan I was able to give may not have been much, but to someone who is close to having nothing, it goes along way, just like the love, hope, and dedication toward their family does, too. Works Cited April 2004-2013.Web. Date of access: September 30th, 2013. Central Intelligence Agency. 2001-2013. Web. Date of access: October 4th, 2013. the-world-factbook/geos/es.html


Major: Nursing Hometown: Liberty, Mo.

The International Bank of Libby e Libby Cronican


n the midst of a mountainous country lies a primitive city full of conflict. Prejudices are found everywhere in the city and are carried out to the extreme. In that city – called Kabul, Afghanistan – one can find an extraordinary person: Farzana, a 36-year-old mother of five children. She runs her own embroidery and sewing business (Fund, 2013). This is a major feat for Farzana, or any woman in Afghanistan because all women face brutal sexism there. Extreme sanctions have been put on them by their former government leaders known as the Taliban (Kabul, 2013). This is why I chose to help fund Farzana’s loan of $275.

Before the United States declared war on Afghanistan to eradicate the Taliban rule in 2001, the whole country was controlled by the Taliban. The Taliban political group began as peaceful leaders making life easier for people of the Islamic religion by passing laws in favor of their religious beliefs. As they gained the trust of the Afghan people, the Taliban began to enforce harsher laws on the people of Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed these harsher laws were all in the name of God and the Koran and turned the country toward dictatorship. Eventually, the Taliban had enough support from the Afghan people that all who resisted were brutally punished. Others complied to the Taliban out of fear (Kabul, 2013). Then, America came in and tried its best to destroy the Taliban government in order to disband an even bigger problem: Al Qaeda. Though the U.S.A. did force the Taliban out of Afghanistan, the Taliban succeeded in moving to neighboring Pakistan (Lettrell, 2007, p. 109). This left Afghanistan with no governmental authority. Thankfully, America remained to help establish a new form of government. This new government is called The Northern Alliance (Kabul, 2013).

search for a woman in Afghanistan who has been affected by the war. When I found Farzana, I knew I had found the hero who needed a helping hand. Farzana is living in a culture that is very masculine and is trying to raise five young children alone.

It was for this reason and many others that I decided to give her my $25 loan. This project really opened my eyes to the many ways one can make a difference within the world. I always focus on the future. I believed that “someday” I would make a big, lasting impact on the world. But what about my actions today? Maybe what I am doing today will have a larger impact on the world tomorrow. After further contemplation on the subject, I now know that the small actions of goodness I do today will have a greater impact on the world than one big momentous occasion that will define my life. I know the first small action toward making tomorrow better is lending another $25 loan to a person in need. Soon, I’ll be able to see just what kind of difference that will have on tomorrow. Works Cited “Fund a Loan of Struggling Entrepreneurs- Lend a Hand.” Fund a Loan of Struggling Entrepreneurs – Lend a Hand. Web. 28 Oct. 2013 “Kabul: Capital of Afghanistan.” Kabul: Capital of Afghanistan. Afghan Network Interactive, 13 Dec. 2004. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. Lettrell, Marcus, and Patrick Robinson, 2007. “Chapter 6: ‘Bye Dudes, Give ‘Em Hell’” Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10. New York: Little, Brown. 108-10.

I chose this loan because of my interest in Afghanistan. I come from a semi-military background. My paternal grandfather was a Navy sailor and always encouraged my siblings and me to keep up with current events. Though I was young when the war between America and Afghanistan began, I did try my best to keep up with the conflict. However, many sources I read were not credible. They all had an extreme bias toward America. Therefore, every news article portrayed the Afghani people as savages who would blow an American’s head off without a second thought. As time has passed, the non-credible sources have been replaced with credible ones. These sources recount who the Afghani people are and what they had to do with the Taliban. Reading the accounts of what the Taliban did to the people of Afghanistan, women especially, really disturbed me. When I was faced with the task of finding a person to make my FINCA loan to, all of these aspects came to my mind. I began to

Major: Nursing Hometown: Springfield, Neb.


The International Bank of Michelle e Michelle Pace


aving the opportunity to assist someone in need has been one of the most beneficial experiences that I have had in my lifetime. Not only has it caused me to be thankful for my situation and the opportunities that I have in my life, but it has helped me in my journey of finding myself. Even though I do not know my loan recipient on a personal level, I was able to connect with her and her story and had a strong urge to want to help her. This entire process has made me realize more about myself including my desire to want to help others as something that I can continue throughout my life.

Ruth Mwale was our loan recipient that we chose. Ruth is from Lusaka, Zambia which is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It has a mostly tropical climate, with mostly plateaus, but contains some hills and mountains. The majority of people living in Zambia are subsistence farmers because agriculture has become the most stable way to earn a living, providing the greatest amount of job opportunities. That being said, about 70% of the population live below the national poverty line. Not only is poverty an issue in Zambia, there has also been an ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic spreading throughout the country (“Zambia Facts”, 2013). All of these factors create a very difficult way of life for those living in Zambia trying to provide for their families. This is especially true for Ruth and her very challenging situation. Ruth has her own growing business in trading and retail. Ruth’s story is one that is very heart breaking, but also is very inspirational. When her husband died, Ruth was left to take care of her 72-year-old mother along with her five children. Because she did not have a job, Ruth’s children were not able to attend school. To try and figure out what she could do, Ruth turned to knitting, something she was good at and something that could potentially begin a business. She heard about FINCA. Loans from FINCA helped her get her knitting business in full gear. She was soon knitting clothing and jerseys for schools and was able to buy her first knitting machine. With all of this, she was able to pay for three of her children to go to school. Her next goal is to save up enough money to buy a house for her family. I believed that Ruth would be a great loan recipient because of her very difficult life situation and also because of her obvious perseverance even through times when everything was against her. To add to all of this, Ruth is working on her own with all of this because of the ages of her mother and all of her children. There is no doubt she is going through a very rough period in her life, but that doesn’t seem to bother her. People like Ruth are the people that I look up to. She has shown her strength that carries and drives her to look past all of her pain and get to achieve her final goal for the sake of her family. I cannot help but develop a connection with Ruth and want to do everything I can to help things go her way. I can with the help of microfinance. I believe that microfinance loans are extremely beneficial for not only the recipient but also for the lender. I hoped that my loan would help


Ruth accomplish some of her goals, or at least get her closer, and fortunately I was able to do so. Ruth’s goal was to receive $800. When I first found her, she was more than halfway to her goal. By the time my group had given our loans to her, and with the help of others from our class giving loans to Ruth, she was able to reach her goal. This allowed her to be able to buy another knitting machine to further her business. It is very gratifying to know that I was able to help someone with her ambitions with very little effort. All I had to do was lend. My loan has the power of altering someone’s life in another country. I know that microfinancing has been growing, but I hope to see it grow even further. It opens doors for people across the world that would never have been given a chance and allows them to achieve what they have always wanted for themselves or their families or even communities. This experience has most definitely made me reflect on how lucky I am to be where I am in life. It has also made me want to continue to incorporate serving others in my life and in my career as if it were something I was meant to do.

There are so many people around the world that are very willing and hardworking, but have all odds against them and, as a result are stuck. With programs like FINCA and Kiva, these people have the opportunities to better themselves and their families’ lives with a simple loan from a stranger wanting to help. This experience has opened my eyes on how powerful one small loan can be for a person and the good that can come from it. Through this experience I have found even further that special place in my heart that wants to help people when they are down. I want to work to help them get what they need and feel that sense of accomplishment when they have met their goals. There’s a special kind of connection between the lender and the recipient; one that works both ways instead of just one. This connection has been one that has made me begin to find myself and even reveal a little of what kind of work I was put on Earth to do. As Bob Harris put it, “Our lives take on meaning to the degree that our love and our actions are the same.” (Harris, 2013, p. 143). Being able to watch Ruth progress in her business has been very rewarding and satisfying. Seeing how much I could help one woman makes me want to start another loan and see where it could take another person. Actions like these, out of love and kindness, are some of the most important times in our lives. They not only help us to connect with others around the world but to also connect and discover ourselves. “You love more, you win.” (Harris, 2013, p.323). Works Cited Harris, Bob. (2013). The International Bank of Bob. New York, NY: Walker Publishing Company. “Zambia Facts.” National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.

Major: Nursing Hometown: Blue Springs, Mo.

The International Bank of Abigail e Abigail Calva


n overwhelming amount of people are requesting funds for a loan through Kiva. When reading each individual’s profile it can be rather difficult to choose only one person to whom to loan, for each individual seeks the loan to better their lives or the lives of their children. In order to help myself narrow the list of individuals seeking help, I created a list of preferences. My requirements were that the borrower be a female seeking to help her children obtain a higher education. Upon deciding my requirements, I was finally able to find the person. The chosen individual was Nara from Cambodia of the Kampon Speu Province. Nara is a 43-year-old woman who sought a personal use/vehicle loan. The loan is to go to the purchase of a motorbike for her children to help them commute to school. Nara lives with her husband and two children. She has been working for a garment factory for more than two years, earning about three dollars a day. Nara’s husband works in construction, earning about eight dollars a day. The loan that Nara requested was for $1,500 from which she would be able to buy her children a motorbike and thus help her children get more easily to school, as well as reduce transportation costs. Nara hopes to eventually expand into the construction business. She also wants her children to earn their bachelor’s degrees. Should Nara’s dream come true, not only will it be a move forward for her children but for Cambodia as well. Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, and in between Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. The Kingdom of Cambodia is believed to have descended from the Angkor Empire, an empire that once extended over Southeast Asia. Challenged by Chem (present-day Vietnam), the king of Cambodia placed the country under French protection. Cambodia was able to finally gain its independence from France in 1953, following Japanese occupation during World War II. After years of struggle with the Communist party Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, Cambodia fell under its control in 1975. Within days of the Khmer Rouge coming into power, Cambodia entered into the darkest time of its history. Two million people were forced to evacuate from the cities to the countryside where they would undertake agricultural work. The Khmer Rouge’s goal was to create a rural, classless society that would force people to work in the fields for more than 12 hours a day without adequate rest or food. The Khmer Rouge placed a ban on family relationships and began an aggressive campaign to brainwash children and encourage them to spy on their parents. The children were taught to report their parents to authorities and turn them in as enemies of the state. Following their coming into power and the evacuations of the citizens, the Khmer Rouge turned its sights on the people in its own organization. (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013; Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 2013) The Khmer Rouge soon claimed that only pure people were qualified to build their revolution. They arrested and killed thousands of their soldiers, military officers and civil servants. In the next three years, the Khmer Rouge would ban religious practice and abolish money, markets and private property. Schools, hospitals, shops, offices and monasteries were closed. The Khmer Rouge persecuted intellectuals,

city residents and minorities, murdering hundreds of thousands of people over the three-year period. During the Khmer Rouge regime, tensions built between the Khmer Rouge and Communist Vietnam. In 1979, the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia and pushed the Khmer Rouge to the countryside. This invasion led to 10 years of additional civil war, totaling 13 years of civil war in Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge’s regime ended with a total of about two million people dying from execution, forced hardship and starvation. Today, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia and suffers from rampant corruption, high income inequality, poor job opportunities, and limited educational opportunities. Roughly four million people make a living of less than $1.25 per day and 35% of Cambodian children under of the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition. Children in Cambodia attend school for 10 years at the most with less than half of children enrolled in school going beyond the fifth grade. The trauma suffered by the people of Cambodia and the killing of its educated citizens has hampered Cambodia’s recovery from the Khmer Rouge regime, as well as being the major cause of the poverty in present day Cambodia. (Cambodia Tribunal Monitor, 2013; PBS, 2013) After learning about Cambodia and Nara’s everyday struggles, I am pleased to have been able to contribute to her loan. I chose Nara for the similarities she has with my mother. Both Nara and my mother have worked hard to give their children an education and to expand their businesses. I hope that with the selection of this loan, Nara is one step closer to giving her children a better education and expanding her business. The experience of loaning through Kiva has given me the chance to examine my view of microfinance, charity and different parts of the world. Before learning about microfinance, I believed charity was the only way through which I could assist other individuals. I learned that assisting others does not have to only involve giving to others, as charity does, but it can involve a loan to people in need who in the long run will gain confidence and a sense of responsibility. The difference between charity and microfinance is that charity works as a short term solution to a problem in which the donor gives assistance freely to the recipients. Microfinance on the other hand serves as a long-term plan that creates confident and independent individuals through the loans they receive from lenders. Perhaps the most important thing that I learned was that no matter how far away people live, what language they speak, or what religion they practice, there are people who share the same hopes and dreams as us. Works Cited “Central Intelligence Agency.” The World Factbook. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. History.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.” “Khmer Rouge History.” Cambodia Tribunal Monitor. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. “Time Line: The History of Cambodia.” Time Line: The History of Cambodia. PBS, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Major: Business Administration Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.


The International Bank of James e James Bradish


ur team made a loan to Godfrey, a 25-year-old handyman who lives in Kasese, Uganda. He operates a local repair shop that offers a service of mobile money transfer. He needed a loan of 900 dollars to buy powdered soap and tea bags to sell. With the proceeds, he is hoping to buy land and pay school fees for his children. Price fluctuation and inadequate capital are his major challenges in his business. The town of Kasese in Uganda is in western Uganda, north of Lake George, and 220 miles west of Kampala (Kasese, 2013, a). It has a population of 67,000 (Kasese, 2013, b). It is a popular tourist site, because it is the gateway to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Rwenzori National Park (Kasese, 2013, b). The Kilembe mine, a cobalt mine, employs a large number of workers from Kasese when it is functioning, and also, the Hima cement factory employs a large number of workers (Kasese, 2013, a). Kasese has also benefited from the increase in trade with eastern districts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kasese, 2013, a). It has a good transportation infrastructure with an all-weather highway to Kampala, and the Kasese airport which receives regular flights (Kasese, 2013, b). Uganda has an unemployment rate of only 4.2 percent (Uganda Unemployment Rate, 2013). Uganda is a main tourist attraction when people visit Africa because of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the source of the Nile River, and Lake Victoria (Western Uganda, 2013).

come up with their own ideas. The loan that we made is giving the money to a person who is helping his family and his business. Bringing a business to a community can help people through providing services. Sending his kids to school allows them a much better chance to make their lives better. These microloans help so many people around the world by providing them loans to buy livestock, medical supplies, food, and merchandise to sell. People around the world can help anyone through sites like Microloans can reach people in a better way than the more traditional charity, by giving them the power to change their community for the better. Works Cited Harris, Bob. (2013). The International Bank of Bob. New York, NY: Walker Publishing Company. “Kasese”. 2013. Wikipedia. 11 Dec. 2013,, a “Kasese: map, population, location”. 2013. Tiptopglobe. 11 Dec. 2013, b “Western Uganda”. 2013. Visituganda. 11 Dec. 2013, “Uganda Unemployment Rate”. 2013. Tradingeconomics. 11 Dec. 2013,

The loan that my team made to Godfrey and his store aided him. It made me think about how 900 dollars can help a man send his children to school and buy land. I am glad that our team’s loan could help out Godfrey. I never made a loan like this before in my life. Once we had made the loan, I started to think about how much this kind of loan can assist someone. When someone takes a small part of their money and gives it to someone who can turn it into a business, it is amazing. In the book, The International Bank of Bob, Bob Harris talks about “when you love more, you win” (Harris, 2013, p. 327). I really started thinking about the quote when we made the loan. Most people will just save their money and never think about giving it to someone in need. I think that when people are doing something that benefits another, it gives you a better feeling than anything in life. You enrich both your life and the life of who you are helping. Giving money to someone who knows how to come up with their own solutions is the best way to help them. If more people lived by “you love more, you win” (Harris, 2014, p. 327), I imagine the world would be exponentially better. Organizations like Kiva take this idea by providing financial stability through microloans and help those who are stuck in poverty by giving them a chance to


Major: Radiological Science Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.

Helping the Dear Neighbor Kiva & FINCA Loan Portfolio Map

Avila University

Avila University FINCA Village Bank in Zambia

KIVA LOANS Armenia Cambodia Ecuador El Salvador Georgia Indonesia Jordan Kenya Kosovo Kyrgyzstan Lebanon Liberia Mexico

Mongolia Nicaragua Pakistan Peru Philippines Samoa Sierra Leone Tajikistan Togo Uganda USA

FINCA LOANS Afghanistan El Salvador Haiti Malawi Zambia Avila University FINCA Village Bank in Zambia

A special thank you to the Bank of Blue Valley for matching student-raised funds doubling Avila’s microloan impact. NOTE: As the recipients payback their loans, the money will be sent directly to Kiva or FINCA where it will be reinvested to finance another loan. This creates a perpetual cycle of microloaning that started with the initial loans from our students. None of the loans will be repaid to any Avila students, faculty, or administration. 15

The International Bank of Gabriela e Gabriela Garcia


INCA is a non-profit microfinance organization, and for the past twenty-five years they’ve attempted to bring the world’s most underdeveloped countries out of poverty. FINCA provides small loans, savings programs, insurance protection, and other financial services to small business owners. FINCA helps the working poor in regions such as Africa, Eurasia, parts of the Middle East, and parts of Latin America. FINCA’s ultimate goals provide services that create jobs, build assets, and improve the overall lives of its clients (FINCA, 2013).

Margret Lingomba is from Lusaka, Zambia. Margret is in the trading and retail business as a grocery shop owner. As the head of her household, she cares for her four children and two nieces. With the profits she earned from her grocery shop that only covered the bare minimum of her family’s expenses, she sought help. That is when she discovered FINCA with the help of a loan officer. Margret soon became the founder of a banking group called Bupe. After she received her first loan of only sixty dollars, she added more items to her store. Margret continued to receive loans, each loan increased and had a positive correlation with her growing business. Margret’s current goal is a loan for 725 dollars. As of now she has earned $450 (62%). Her goal is more than half way met. My loan recipient is an older woman with six children to care for, two of them being her nieces, and no husband mentioned. Margret is definitely a strong role model in her community, and I infer that she isn’t the only woman in the process of using FINCA loans. FINCA has helped individuals in about twenty-one underdeveloped countries with the lowest income entrepreneurs. Women endure some of the most painful and stressful situations on a daily basis. I have this mentality where I think of Margret as my mother, sister, aunt, or even myself. I would want someone, even if it’s a stranger halfway around the world, to help my family if they were in any sort of trouble. I want Margret to know that someone is trying to help her. She expressed how grateful she was when she discovered FINCA. Every loan she receives helps build her grocery shop and makes it more successful. I want Margret to stay strong and hopeful because she’s seeking new ways to help her family and pay for their education. Margret, like many other FINCA microloan recipients, depends heavily on these loans. It is truly their only means of trying to live above the poverty line. In The International Bank of Bob, microloans are what Harris focused on, a small contribution with a huge impact. A small sum of money can be translated to a huge opportunity for small, local business owners who are trying to improve the lives of their family and also those in their communities.

and thrive, and in the long run, keeps Margret’s children and nieces in school. It provides an opportunity that is difficult to come by in Zambia, and it is something that is not really contemplated in the United States because we have more resources to provide to our citizens. Zambia’s population is expected to grow by 2025 from about eleven million to fifteen million people. Another disparity Zambians face is the lack of medical resources. The HIV and AIDS prevalence is very high. In 2005, 42% of children under five years of age were malnourished. Our microloans mostly help farmers and vendors which makes sense because agriculture accounts for 85% of Zambia’s workforce. Some of the most in demand exports include tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, and peanuts (U.S. Department of State, 2013; Worldmark Encyclopedia, 2013). Microfinance is charity with some process of repayment, growth, education and hope. Without FINCA and its services, individuals would not have any chance of building or expanding businesses because in underdeveloped countries, those opportunities are not possible for the working poor. Regarding calling and vocation, individuals need different materials. Some individuals need money (in forms of loans or credit), medicine (medical attention, including nutrition to live a longer, healthier life), and education. But more importantly, many need access to resources. Regardless of the materials needed to discover a calling and vocation, the goal is identical globally: to find something an individual feels so passionately about and in return help those who surround them. I am proud to say that at Avila University, we are the leaders who can and will continue to make a difference worldwide.

Works Cited “U.S. Relations With Zambia.” U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, 19 June 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. “Who We Are.” Charitable Microfinance Organization-FINCA. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. htm#.UrIVF07nbIU “Zambia.” Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations., 2007.” Cities of the World. HighBeam Research, 01 Jan. 2007. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

I came to the realization that the twenty-five dollars I spent on my clothes, nails, or makeup can actually keep someone’s business open


Major: Nursing Hometown: Kansas City, Kan.

The International Bank of Alexandria e Alexandria Walters


efore beginning my freshman year of college, I was required to read The International Bank of Bob by Bob Harris. This book taught me about the human connection and how microfinance loans are better for helping people than through donations. With these lessons in mind and donations to the freshman class, I was able to give a twenty-five dollar loan to a recipient of my choosing through FINCA. FINCA is a microfinancing institution that allows people to give loans to another person a world away to grow their business and support their needs. I decided, along with a few others, to provide a loan to a young woman in Zambia named Rhoda Mwale who is widowed, has five children and runs a vegetable stand in a market. I had in my mind a few specific reasons for choosing Rhoda that made me feel she was the right person to whom I should give my loan. When I was searching for a loan recipient, I knew I wanted to give my loan to someone living in an impoverished country or area. Rhoda’s location in Zambia fit my idea of poverty with low incomes, lower than expected life expectancy, and a lower than desired literacy rate. I wanted to give to an impoverished area because with my loan, the recipient’s business would allow the area’s economy to grow, which would create a ripple effect and benefit the entire community. I also knew I wanted to help a woman because many countries around the world do not allow for equal rights for women. I chose Rhoda not only because she is a woman, but also because Zambia does not always allow equality for women, especially for those who do not have a husband. This issue can cause problems, because there is no one to stand up for her in times of need or when she needs support. By giving her this loan, she will be able to gain confidence to take control of her life while showing others she can run a business without a man leading her. My third piece of criteria was to find a mother with children who wanted to put them through school to receive an education. For many students in developed nations, education is sometimes taken for granted since everyone is required to go to school for a certain amount of time. Therefore, I wanted to help someone who values what an education can do. With an education, children are able to go further in life while also having more financial stability, which allows the cycle of poverty to end. With Rhoda’s children in school they will have a more sound future while also being able to help Rhoda later in life when she is at an advanced age. My final criteria for my loan was, whomever I chose, I needed to have a personal connection in order to create a bond that would motivate me to be more inclined to keep track of the loan and recipient. My personal connection was based on Rhoda being a single mother, just as my mother is. I knew the challenges of my mother putting three children through school and therefore connected with Rhoda’s value of education for her children just as my mother has with hers. This human connection is what really drove me to give Rhoda the loan. If I were able to give more,

I would give more help in the form of loans instead of a donation because of the negative effects that can occur. There is a difference between a microfinance loan and a donation. With a donation there is no obligation for the recipient to do something positive with the money. The recipient is able to do whatever she may choose since it is not tracked or accounted for. With a loan, the recipient is more inclined to use the loan wisely because it is from an institution that helps with their loan and also with money management and planning. When recipients are able to repay a loan and keep track of their financial standing, they are able to apply for more loans to grow the business further. With the help of microfinance loans, recipients are able to break the cycle of poverty and create a sense of financial security for themselves and their families. For me, being able to give a microfinance loan was an unintended benefit I became aware of, because the loan would do more good for Rhoda since, based on statistics, she would be more likely to succeed and grow her business. Overall, I wanted to help someone a world away in a specific way. I wanted to help a woman in an impoverished area that I had a human connection with and would motivate me to track my loan and recipient. I found a better way to help someone that has a higher guarantee of success through a microfinance loan compared with the usual idea of a donation. I was able to accomplish my goal and learn about more successful ways to give hope to others thanks to the help of FINCA. From this experience, I was able to give a sense of worth and hope to a mother while gaining a new idea on how to help others oceans away. Works Cited Harris, Bob. (2013). The International Bank of Bob. New York, NY: Walker Publishing Company. “Zambia Facts.” National Geographic. National Geographic, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.

Major: Prehealth Professions Hometown: Florissant, Mo.


The International Bank of Makenzie e Makenzie Martin


abije is a tailor in Kosovo, Europe. She is 48 years old, married and a mother of three children between the ages of 18 and 24. She has been in the tailoring business for over 20 years and plans to continue on and further grow her business with the loan of $2,725. With this loan, she plans to purchase a new sewing machine and supplies needed to continue her tailoring. The new sewing machine would allow her to book more appointments than she currently does, in the end allowing her income to increase. She is the primary provider for her family; therefore, her income is crucial. Her main goal in the end is to provide a better living condition for her family (Kiva, 2013).

A loan of $2,725 may seem a little bit high for the price of a sewing machine and supplies, but you have to take in account the currency exchange rate in Europe. This means that Rabije will be receiving seven cents for every American dollar that is loaned to her. For this particular loan, she will be receiving 1,907.50 Euros. This is still a large amount of money when you take into account that the average yearly income in Kosovo is $6,500 (Kosovo, 2013). Kosovo has become a very poverty stricken country since the war in 1990. Before the war in 1990, we would not even be considering fulfilling a loan for a female as they did not work outside of the home. Due to the war, many families lost their male members and the women of the family, especially mothers, had to find ways to make an income. Many took up a trade such as Rabije did with tailoring for income. I am personally taking many assets away from this project. I selected Rabije because I have always had an interest in the different aspects of fashion and being able to make something beautiful with your own hands. The picture on her Kiva profile is Rabije holding up what appears to be a beautifully made lace and stitching piece that one can assume she has created herself. When I first found her loan on Kiva, I was hoping that her loan would be quickly funded. Her loan was larger than most in the clothing category but this was expected for the items she wanted to purchase. This process has taught me about most of the microfinance process. Before beginning this project, I was not even aware of what microfinance was. The process of microfinance is actually more simple than what I first imagined; however, it is a longer process than I assumed due to the repayment schedule that the clients are given. Microfinance is a wonderful way to help those that are truly in need by helping them to start their own businesses. This then allows the clients to begin to support themselves and work toward being more independent and financially responsible. I think this is different than the act of charity. When I think of charity, I think of helping people through giving of my time instead of financial help. I think of charity as going to Harvesters and working to fill food boxes for senior citizens that have no way of helping themselves without the help of others due to their


age and abilities. This is an act of giving my time to help the livelihood of someone else. I feel this is completely different than sitting behind my computer and loaning someone $25 to help them in meeting their business goals. This project has taught me enough that I would feel comfortable in making future loans through websites like Kiva. I would also feel confident in finding loan recipients all over the world that I would feel confident in loaning to and insuring that I would be receiving my investment back again to then loan to another client. I also feel confident in the village bank that Avila is sponsoring to one day possibly loan money to a client through our village bank, I think this would be a very neat experience. This entire project connects with the Avila values as it focuses on doing service for others. We also had to work to raise the funds and then were lucky enough to have others match the funds that we made. This allowed us to fulfill so many more loans than originally planned and do more good for the people around us. This project has brought to light how others live around us that I know I personally would not have experienced if it hadn’t been for our culminating project this semester.

We are going to continue to do this service for others through the opening of the Avila-sponsored village bank. Hopefully, this will be a place for the local community members to go when they need help with their loans, or how to properly handle the money that they have received through their loans being sponsored. They could also help them to stay on track with their repayment schedule to insure that they could receive future loans when needed. I would love to be able to go and visit the village bank once it is operational. I feel like this would be a wonderful service project for Avila students. Overall, I think this has been a wonderful opportunity for me to be a part of. It has taught me how far a small amount of money can go in other countries when it comes to meeting the needs of others. I am grateful that I was able to find a client that is an independent woman who is going after her dream of tailoring. She obviously has a passion for the work that she does, and that is an amazing quality in a woman. I am very much an advocate of independent women who do not need to rely on others to accomplish their dreams. I would personally loan $25 to women like Rabije all over the world if I one day have the opportunity to so. Works Cited “Kiva - Rabije from Kosovo.” Kiva. N.p., n.d. eb. 17 Nov. 2013. lend/610009. “Kosovo.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Nov. 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.

Major: Nursing Hometown: Platte City, Mo.

Culminating Project Reflection e Sarah LaRose


odfrey is 30 years old and lives in the town of Kasese in the southwestern part of Uganda. He is married and has three children, one of whom is currently in school. Godfrey owns a business, which he has run for five years, and to help expand this business, Godfrey has requested a loan of 1,500,000 UGX from Kiva partner, BRAC Uganda. The loan will be used to purchase more merchandise such as beer and sodas for resale. With the help of his loan from BRAC, Godfrey wishes to make more money to be able to pay for his children to go to school. In the future, he hopes to expand his business further.

Uganda is an African country slightly bigger than the state of Oregon that is located west of Kenya and east of Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country got its independence from the United Kingdom on October 9, 1962. It has a terrain that is mostly plateau with a rim of mountains. The capital of Uganda is Kampala. Uganda is a landlocked, fertile, and well-watered country with many lakes and rivers. English is its official national language, as it is taught in grade schools and is used in courts of law and by most newspapers. As of 2010, it has 144.2 square kilometers of irrigated land that is broken up as follows: 27.94% is arable land, 9.11% is permanent crops, and 62.95% is used for other things.

I cannot start to imagine how helpful it was for Godfrey to receive his loan request. He is now able to buy merchandise for his business, which will pay for his children to go to school one day. He is now able to more securely ensure a happy future for his family. Just knowing that I was a part of a group that could make an impact on his life is a thought that will keep me involved in organizations like Kiva. Godfrey is in Africa, I am in the United States, and we were still able to connect in a way that made us both very satisfied. The Avila students who were involved were able to affect a few different peoples’ lives who we never even would have known about otherwise. Kiva, and other programs like it, has opened doors that allow people across the globe to help each other have better lives. This is something that would have been unthinkable 50 years ago.

Works Cited “Central Intelligence Agency.” The World Factbook. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.

The current issues for the Ugandan environment are that the wetlands are being drained for agricultural use, deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion, and widespread poaching. Most women are beginning to have babies at the average age of 19, and the average life expectancy in Uganda is 54. Six and one-half percent of Ugandan adults have HIV/AIDS, which translates to about 1.2 million Ugandan citizens living with this disease. Seventy-three percent of the population that is 15 years old and older, are literate, but citizens stop going to school around the age of 11. Citizens gain suffrage when they turn 18. The Ugandan government has many similarities with the United States government. In loaning to Godfrey, I learned that helping people who cannot repay you is one of the most satisfactory feelings a person can have. Although technically Godfrey will be repaying his loan, the fundraising and amount of thought and effort that went into loaning to him is something that the Avila students did without needing or wanting repayment. It truly does make you feel good when you know you are helping someone who lives in a completely different country. Knowing your loan is helping parents pay for school for their children, making better lives for their families, and keeping themselves healthy and happy as well, is something I can take into my future. I can tell my children and others around me about this experience one day in hopes that my story of impacting someone will inspire them to do good for the people around them – or not around them.

Major: Prehealth Professions Hometown: Lee’s Summit, Mo.


The Ultimate Mother e Amy Kivett


ganda is a very poor country in eastern Africa with approximately twenty-five percent of its citizens below the poverty level. One U.S. dollar is equal to about 2,505 Ugandan shillings. The majority of the labor force is in agriculture. The population in Uganda is about thirty-five million and growing, with most of its citizens under the age of fourteen years of age. The country is very diverse and has many species of animals. The official language is English and the population is mostly Roman Catholic and Protestant. (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013; Uganda Tourism Board, 2013) Ruth is a 33-year-old mother of three living in Nkokonjer, Kyengera, Uganda. She is a widow and raising her three children on her own. About three years ago, her sister passed away. As a result of her sister’s death, Ruth has taken in her sister’s two children and raises them as her own. She is currently running her own business to support her children and her sister’s children. Ruth owns a boutique where she sells clothing. The money she earns not only takes care of herself and her family, but also pays tuition for her sister’s children. The store is doing well, but there are some challenges in her business. The biggest challenge is insufficient capital. She finds it difficult to buy her materials in bulk, which hinders her business’s profits and expansion. This also causes her to have to go shopping more often, causing the store to be closed and not take in money. Ruth requested a loan of $1,000 so that she could bridge that gap.

Personally, I believe the best thing about microfinancing organizations is that the loan recipients are not asking for handouts; they are actually asking for help. Instead of asking for a donation, they are trying to better themselves and their families. The fact that they care so much about their family that they will sacrifice their social life, sleep and time just to make sure they can get an education is one of the most amazing things I have ever heard. If they are willing to do that, they deserve a loan. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. I actually think that people who ask for help are much stronger than people who just sit there and wait for a check. Microfinancing organizations have made it possible for people who are less fortunate to succeed, and I plan to make a few loans on my own in the future. Works Cited Central Intelligence Agency. (2013). The World Factbook: Uganda. Retrieved November 2013, from CIA Web site: library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ug.html Uganda Tourism Board. (2013). Facts and History. Retrieved November 2013, from Visit Uganda Web site: http://

I chose Ruth because she is a true mother and caregiver. Not only is she working hard for her own children, but she has also taken in her sister’s children. She reminds me of my grandmother. When my mother had to work to support the two of us, my grandmother offered to take care of me for very little in return. She also took in my two cousins when their parents could not properly raise them. I appreciate what Ruth is doing to support her family and I am glad to help her out in any way that I can. I think microfinancing organizations like Kiva are very important to the global economy. Instead of just donating money to some stranger the person would probably never meet or hear about, people who work with microfinancing organizations give the loans to recipients they learn about a little push toward success. Instead of depending on little amounts of money once every so often, the recipients can ask for exactly what they need, say what it is for, and then pay it all back in the end. In my opinion, helping someone succeed with their business so that they can give their own family an amazing life is way more fulfilling than just giving them a few dollars for food or a check for bills.


Major: Nursing Hometown: Kansas City, Kan.

Reflection Excerpts e Samantha Castoldi

Hometown: San Tan Valley, Ariz., Major: Kinesiology After completing this project, there is much upon which I can reflect. I really like how we incorporated the book we read by actually using the same website and sending out our own loans. It means a great deal for that person to be able to continue their goals. It relates to one of my values and Avila’s values which is service to others. By giving them the money they need, they can contribute to their town by giving children a better education. In other areas of the world, it is much harder to get an education, and our recipient has been able to provide education for children for almost 12 years now. I selected my loan recipient because she wants to help others be successful. I like to help people, and I want to see people reach their goals. She gives people a chance to accomplish tasks that are not as easy for them to do. With this loan selection, I am hopeful she can get all the funds she needs to keep her school going. She wants to buy more supplies for classes and students. I look forward to fulfilling all her needs. Doing this project has made me think more about Avila’s missions and values. It relates to several of them. One specifically that relates to Avila’s values and my own values is the service to others. I am very passionate about helping others. That is what I want to do in the future as a physical therapist. Going through this process really makes me think about Avila’s values more. I really enjoyed this experience, because I can impact others’ lives. I also like how we made enough money to fund a whole town. It has made me realize that helping others internationally can create a close community. Work Cited Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation. Accessed 29 Oct. 2013. Web.

e Louis Gallagher

Hometown: Surrey, England, Major: Finance The whole process of using Kiva loans has really opened my eyes to microfinance as I previously had not been aware that such a thing existed. It is a fantastic idea, in my opinion, as it helps those who deserve it, but at the same time gives them an incentive to work hard and gives them a feeling of responsibility. This is different from charity, as in charity, the handouts are given with no expectation on the part of the giver. This is still important as people who need help should get it. I prefer the idea of microfinance as it helps people improve their financial situations for a long time, not just a quick hand out; the basis on


which a lot of charities are founded. It also has other bonuses such as economic growth as peoples’ incomes can increase, helping boost aggregate demand in the economy and contributing to economic growth. This can help more people get out of the poverty trap and improve living conditions. This is an opportunity everybody deserves. Kiva is a great idea as people all over the world can help others with really little risk of losing any money. Personally this has not really changed my opinion of my calling. I still believe we are aware of our own conscious decisions and we choose to do things because we want to, not because it was an outside agent’s plan. I am a firm believer in helping others when you can. Using Kiva loans is something I plan on doing in the future, to give others help and a chance in improving their lives as they have not been blessed with the good fortunes we all have.

e Violetta Hamilton

Hometown: Kansas City, Mo., Major: Psychology I decided to loan Darwin the 25 dollar loan because he is working hard to have his family living in a stable home. I know that there are many people on Kiva who are also needing loans for their businesses and to help their family members as well, but with Darwin I saw something a little different. He is a male. Usually on the Kiva website, I would see a single mother trying to keep up a business while dealing with her children. Or I remember during the Truman Lecture Series, the panel only mentioned two young women who received a loan, and after they received it they eventually became successful. A mother’s love can go a long way. But when I see a young male working hard to provide for his family, that is what gets to me the most because when I was reading the profiles of the different people, the father was usually nowhere around. Now, we have Darwin helping his daughter with school, working while his wife stays at home, and building a house with his own two hands. He personally chose not to give up for the sake of his family. I am truly happy that I am able to experience this type of project. Before entering this class, I had no idea what microfinance was. I do understand now that microfinance is not exactly a charity. Microfinancing is lending as charity is to giving. Before I was introduced to microfinance and the culminating project as a whole, I honestly was only thinking about the people in our own country who needed support. This project opened my eyes to the people in other countries who are struggling just as much. I love that there is another way to extend our help to people outside of our country as much as we help people locally. This experience really does impact my thinking regarding calling and vocation. In class, we would list different jobs or hobbies that we would consider a calling. Some of us came to the conclusion

that a calling and vocation do not necessarily need to be a job. A calling is someone’s passion, a reason for people to wake up every morning. Darwin’s passion is his family, his reason for working hard every day to provide for the people he loves, a reason to keep going, and actually a will to keep going. In the end, supporting his family is what Darwin is called to do. This project really taught me so many lessons regarding microfinance, calling, vocation, and Avila’s values. In the future, this project truly pushes me to begin my own group through Kiva for microfinancing. I would love to participate in any opportunity I can that has to deal with microfinancing or charity in general. Overall, this culminating project has opened my eyes, and it was a great feeling to be a part of something so amazing.

and I feel like another way of doing that besides being a nurse would be to continue funding opportunities of those less fortunate than I through microfinance loans. I am extremely proud to be a part of a university such as Avila that holds dear, service to others and helping others grow to find their true potential. I think Avila’s mission toward these standards is most definitely achieved by our actions through making loans. Because of this opportunity I was able to help a woman overcome trials in her life that maybe I myself, wouldn’t have been able to see past. I am happy that I have been a part of Rhoda Mwale’s journey to success but also a part of Avila history as we continue to improve the lives of those around us and those far away. Works Cited

“Kiva - Loans That Change Lives.” Kiva. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

“Zambia.” The World Bank. World Bank. Visited: 11/13/13

Hometown: Grain Valley, Mo., Major: Nursing

“Rhoda Mwale.” FINCA. FINCA. Visited: 11/13/13

Works Cited

e Monica Hudson

Upon reflection of making this loan, I am completely satisfied with my choice. I chose Rhoda Mwale due to her story, obviously, but something about the woman spoke to me. I really admired the fact that she was able to be so strong in dealing with five children after the death of her husband. I also thought that it was incredible that a family with so little never gave up…. It is so inspiring that they took advantage of the resources they had and turned it into something beneficial for their family. So many times, when in doubt, people drop their heads and turn away fearful of what is next, but Rhoda kept her head forward and looked past all of the obstacles to find herself where she is today. …. I was confident that choosing her and her family as my recipient was an excellent choice and I couldn’t wait to see the impact that was made in their life due to it. Giving a loan to someone in need has made me believe in the power of microfinance loans. I love the idea that people can receive the help they need while also learning responsibility. I think that is the difference between microfinance loans and charity. In charity, you are mindlessly giving. Yes, it is good to give selflessly, and I encourage everyone to take part in doing so, but there is something special about doing that while also helping teach someone how to get by on their own. This is the opportunity that microfinance loans provide, helping someone for the future, not just for the present. Poverty will never be abolished completely, but a huge step toward reducing it comes from microfinance loans. I find it upsetting that parts of the world are struggling so much with things that we take for granted in America. It is definitely rewarding to have the ability to help people in their time of need, and that ties back to what I feel my calling is, that of being a nurse. My ultimate goal in life is to help people in their times of need,

“Avila’s Mission and Values.” Avila University. Avila. Visited: 11/13/13

e Danielle Kaullen

Hometown: Kansas City, Mo., Major: Radiological Science This experience has not impacted my thinking of calling and vocation because I have always believed that, as people, we are called to be submissive to God’s will, for our lives and vocation. It is a combination of our passion and skill to fulfill what God wants us to do. Avila’s mission is “a values-based community of learning providing liberal arts, professional, undergraduate and graduate education to prepare students for responsible lifelong contributions to the global community” (Avila Website). This mission is similar to the missions of Sok and Khom because all three of them are based on learning and preparing lives for the future. To sum up the values of Avila, they are to excel in teaching and learning, be charitable, and to express and grow as a person. These relate to Sok because by studying engineering, he will be able to excel in learning because engineering is such an intensive program. He is also able to express himself and grow as a person because once he graduates from this program, he will be able to express himself in a certain type of engineering and he will see himself grow throughout school and how far he has come. These values connect with Khom because she is helping her children excel in learning, she is being charitable by paying for her children’s schooling, and she will grow as a person by doing what is best for her kids and herself. This will impact my future microfinancing opportunities by giving me more motivation to loan to more recipients because I know what influence it has on them. I realize that many lives can be changed with just a simple loan of $25.


The Truman Lecture opened with a Microloan Panel Discussion. Pictured l to r: Bob Regnier, Chairman, President & CEO of Bank of Blue Valley (panelist); Ron Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA, President, Avila University; JoAnn Field, Founder, KC Women Go Global (panelist); Robert W. Hatch, Chairman, FINCA International (panelist); and Sister Marie Harris, Ph.D., CSJ., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Avila University.

Bob Regnier, Nancy Hatch and Robert Hatch display the event T-shirt which proceeds helped the students make 198 microloans. Moderator and Chair Sue Ellen McCalley, Ph.D., opens the Truman Lecture in Goppert Theatre.


Bob Harris, author, The International Bank of Bob, and featured speaker “wows� the crowd with his informative stories and insights.

Bob graciously signed more than 250 books for students, including first year student, Taylor Livingston.


Students surround Bob Harris during the book signing. Front row, l to r: Bob Harris, Brandis Whitfield and Violetta Hamilton. Back row, l to r: Kylie Ball, Grace Miller, Jessica Hicks, Dayton Antley, Katie Bryant, Kayla Grieshaber.

Joe Fahey, Avila University Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Abdulaziz Aldossary, first year student, proudly wear the event T-shirt.


e Madison Mueth

Hometown: Simi Valley, Calif., Major: Elementary Education I want to be a teacher when I grow up and eventually help kids in developing countries. I felt a connection with Allah’s passion for teaching by keeping Gold Cambridge open with having so many obstacles to overcome. I was also inspired by how much she has done for these students and how much of an inspiration she must be for her students. When I become a teacher, I would love to be an inspiration to my students and teach them that you can accomplish anything with hard work. This experience has impacted my idea of a calling as Allah had a calling to teach children and to create a school. She went after her goal of starting a school from basically nothing, and now it has been running for about twelve years…. Allah impacted my idea of a calling because she has made me realize that a calling is something that you are so passionate about that you have to do it in your life no matter how hard it is going to be. Allah is a very strong person and is very inspiring to me and to probably many other people in her community. She created a school from nothing in a country where not many women get many opportunities to work. Now the school is successful and the students get the chance to learn. She has also earned the respect from the people in her community, which I think is pretty amazing. It is people like Allah who inspire others to help their community and to go after their dreams no matter how hard you have to work for them. Works Cited “Kiva - Loans That Change Lives.” Kiva. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. “Education in Pakistan.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Nov. 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.

e Amelia Mullins

Hometown: Belton, Mo., Major: Criminology & Justice Studies My vocation in life isn’t exactly clear to me, but I know that I must help people. Therefore, microfinancing could play a role in my vocation. Vocation fits in perfectly with the mission and values here at Avila. Since I have been at Avila, many people are always talking about the values and missions that are instilled in students. The experience of giving a loan does go hand in hand with being innovative. The whole concept of being innovative is to be able do things quickly in situations. Since most people I know can’t fly over to Zambia on a whim, it is easier to loan money online. Without the knowledge of being innovative, we would not have even thought of giving money through a loan program on the Internet that barely affects our daily lives.

Throughout the whole experience of loaning to a person through FINCA, it becomes clearer in my mind that it is easier to help someone than I thought. Before trying out a FINCA loan, I thought that you should only give to charities. My thoughts did not process that it might be easier to tell where the loan was actually going instead of throwing money up in the air. I feel that in the future, it will be easier for me to tell what I should do when either donating or loaning money to an organization or person. By doing the FINCA loan, it has shed a new light on what I think is better for a person like myself. I only make minimum wage and work 30 hours a week, but if one person can make a well prospering life like Idah, I could spare time and money to give back more often.

e Sajel Spani

Hometown: Lee’s Summit, Mo., Major: Communication I chose to make my Kiva loan to Yassa because when I saw her picture she just seemed like such a genuine person who is joyful in all circumstances. She is the mother of five children, and coming from a family with five siblings, I can easily relate to having a big family, but I cannot imagine raising a family with only a limited amount of money and in such a hard part of the world. It was hard enough for my parents raising five children in the United States. For Yassa to raise her children in a country that is recovering from a 14 year civil war seems almost impossible. I really hope that with making a loan to Yassa and her family that the money will be put to great use in expanding her business in order to bring in a larger salary to support her family and that in the years to come she can completely pay off her loan and begin to bring home a steady income. When I first read The International Bank of Bob by Bob Harris, I was highly uneducated in what microfinancing was and how it worked. Throughout this semester I have learned so much about Kiva and how big of an impact it has on our world today. It is a way for you to be able to give a helping hand to someone without putting much effort into it. With a simple twenty five dollars you can help start someone’s business that in the end could possibly turn their lives around. Americans tend to take for granted how much we have and forget that around the world families are struggling to even find their next meal. With Kiva, it gives us the opportunity to help someone out and we hardly had to do anything. I have been extremely grateful for the chance to learn about microloans and be able to experience the journey of it. Learning more about Kiva loans throughout this semester has really opened my eyes to see how much of an opportunity we have to help someone in need even if we are just college students. My calling for my life could simply be to help people, and Kiva loans could have something to do with that. It gives me the opportunity to feel like I


am making a difference even if it is just twenty-five simple dollars at a time. Being a college student, you do not always feel like you can afford to give money to help people because you are trying to pay for your education. With the opportunity Avila University has given me and the rest of the freshmen, I feel like in some way I was able extend a helping hand. Even if I never get the chance to meet Yassa, I am grateful that I was able to be a small part of helping her grow her business. I hope she knows that someone across the world cares about her and her family’s future.

e Caitlin Vogler

Hometown: High Ridge, Mo., Major: Art There were many things that were going through my mind when realized how I was helping Ruth. It goes back to the beginning when I first read The International Bank of Bob. When I first read the book it was the first time that I was introduced to the idea of microfinancing. I was amazed that there was such a thing out there. Donating to individuals in different countries from miles away was a genius idea. What Bob Harris did was a true blessing to all of his clients. By reading all of the stories and hearing him talk about each individual person really helped me visualize the huge impact that he put in people’s lives and gave me a sense of gratitude toward the people who go out of their way to help others. I feel like today in society you do not really see that big push for people to do good deeds and be generous toward others, even if it is as little as volunteering somewhere for a few hours. The fact that Bob Harris was able to help all those people by just a few clicks on the computer astonished me and gave me more insight to what it really means to help someone in need. I was excited to find out that we were going to be doing the same thing in class. Although I wouldn’t be able to go and visit Ruth and see how our loan was helping, it still gave me a sense of pride just knowing that what we did as a group could change the lives of not just one person but six people. Ruth’s story really touched my heart because I know individuals that were in the same situation that she was in. It is a great deed that Ruth is doing by taking her sister’s kids under her wing and helping them further themselves in life. Also, Ruth gives everything she makes to her kids and their education. She keeps nothing for herself. Ruth was not the only person affected by this loan, but her children also are steps closer to getting an education. Thinking about all the people that we were helping made me feel great about myself and also about all of the classes that were giving loans to others. If just one of our groups were changing the lives of six people just imagine how many lives were changing with all of the classes involved. This experience overall has been a huge eye opener for me, and I know it has been for others also. Before learning about


microfinancing, I was doing what I could in my spare time to try to help others and to make an effort to change the lives of individuals around me by just doing the little things. Microfinancing has really opened my eyes to different opportunities as a means of donating to others. This experience has taken on a whole new idea of helping others for me and has been an amazing experience. Works Cited “Ruth From Uganda.” Kiva. N.p .n.d. Web. November 15, 2013.

The International Bank of Students e Cumulative Essay

e Janna Stanek

Hometown: Kansas City, Mo. Major: Nursing

e Catherine Hennessey Hometown: St. Louis, Mo. Major: Special Education & Music

e Abdulaziz Aldossary

Hometown: Damman, Saudi Arabia Major: Nursing

This experience has impacted our thinking regarding microfinance and charity in different parts of the world. We have realized that no matter the place or geographical location, everyone is working toward the same goal, providing a better future for oneself and one’s family in the pursuit of happiness and success. We have realized that microfinance is a loan that is being paid back, while charity is giving a donation from the heart without any expectation in return. According to, microfinancing is “a type of banking service that is provided to unemployed or low-income individuals or groups who would otherwise have no other means of gaining financial services. Ultimately, the goal of microfinance is to give low-income people an opportunity to become self-sufficient by providing a means of saving money, borrowing money and insurance” (Source A). Charity is defined as, “a provision of help or relief to the poor. Charity is benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity. It is also the theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one’s neighbors as objects of God’s love” (Source B), according to Microfinance is a loan in which money is given to a recipient who will pay back the money over time, while charity is giving a donation without any expectations in return. This experience has also emphasized three values that Avila University holds and correlates to the theme of the Kiva lending

process. These values focus on: the worth, dignity, and potential of each human being, commitment to the continual growth of the whole person, and interaction with and service to others. Throughout this process, we have respected the worth, dignity, and potential of each human being, notably, Alicia. We are committed to the continual growth of Alicia by lending her money in hope of expanding her store and providing a better future for her family. And lastly, we are interacting with service to Alicia through our loan. These values instilled by Avila have allowed us to open our hearts to Alicia and her family.

and why not lend a hand to someone and be their light at the end of the tunnel? This experience has taught us that every little action such as opening a door, lending a helping hand, or offering a smile doesn’t go unnoticed, and might perhaps be a big action to the recipient. Not every problem can be solved in the world, but with every action there is a chain reaction. Mother Teresa said, “if you can’t feed a hundred people, just feed one” (Source C). We have realized that we cannot give loans to hundreds, but as the cover of The International Bank of Bob states, we can “connect our worlds one $25 Kiva loan at a time.”

This experience has impacted our thinking regarding calling and vocation because it taught us to always give of oneself for the benefit of the other. This experience of loaning money to Alicia and reading The International Bank of Bob has opened our eyes to the cruelty and injustice not only in developing countries, but also around the world. There are struggles, heartache, and poverty in every city, of every state, in every country. Everyone encounters low points in their lives,

Works Cited

Personal Reflections e Sue Ellen McCalley, Ph.D. Chair, Truman Lecture Series Professor of Education and Psychology

The Truman Lecture provides our students with an opportunity to meet inspiring people who have had a significant impact on the lives of people around the world. This wonderful experience allows them to experience the Avila mission personally. It encourages them to explore their own potential to help the dear neighbor.

e Paige Illum, Ph.D.

Coordinator of First Year Experience Coordinator of Retention Adjunct Faculty

Source A: Source B: Source C: Harris, Bob. (2013). The International Bank of Bob. New York, NY: Walker Publishing Company.

e Ron Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA Avila University President

The power of the Truman Lecture Series and Avila’s Common Reading Program is to inform and educate our students of global issues that need to be addressed. The revelation is they can begin to change the world, right now.

From l to r: Sue Ellen McCalley, Ph.D., Ron Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA and Paige Illum, Ph.D.

Our goal is to provide the students with a meaningful academic experience while living our University mission and the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph to help our dear neighbors. Avila’s mission shares that we will “prepare students for responsible lifelong contributions to the global community.” This experience is the initial step in accomplishing this commitment to our students and honoring our relationship with the Sisters of St. Joseph.


Appendix A: Avila First Year Students Ochoniya Adejoh Abdulaziz Aldossary Tyler Aschwege Lauren Austin Tori Aziere Trey Bales Arianna Bartolotta Brandon Barton Collin Baumann Roger Beilman Ryan Benny Xavier Boerger James Bradish Joy Branch Katie Bryant Collin Burch Aaron Burrow Paige Buzan Laken Cagle Abigail Calva Katy Case McKenzie Casey Sam Castoldi Corey Cochran Cynthia Conchas Mackenzie Connaughton Cam Cosey Cody Cox Libby Cronican Kirsten Culbertson ShayLynn Culliver Shawn Dalangin Olivia Deeken Brendan Derickson Samantha Dexter Emily Dwyer Cassi Dye Brittney Eidson Lane Epperson Myles Eubanks Curtis Farmer Ricky Farrell Maggie Fey Tiffany Fifer Sinai Flores Abbey Forehand


Connor Foxhoven Hannah Freeman Natasha Frick Blanca Funes Louis Gallagher Gabby Garcia Haley Gatts Taylor Geis Brittany George Erick Gonzalez EJ Green Morgan Greenwood Shelby Grego Jackson Gurley Sho Hakamada Sarah Hallemeier Violetta Hamilton Tiffany Hanks Kaley Harkrader Kamree Harris Tesslia Hauzer Caroline Hayes Josh Haynes Paige Hays Catherine Hennessey Karina Hermosillo Trae Hodges Monique Holmes Jared Hood Jessie Hopkins Heather Howard Monica Hudson Katlin Huskey Cody Jeffrey Shayla Jochum JC Johnson Stephanie Johnson Diavanni Johnson-Rice Amber Jones Nicole Kackley Danielle Kaullen Ashley King Amy Kivett Eliza Knopps Emily Kramm Yessica Lara

Sarah LaRose Alex LeBlanc Joey Lipoff Taylor Livingston Nicollette Lockard Hannah Long Kateri Lovell Nicole Mangiaracina Lyndsey Marron-Burgard Ashleigh Martin Lauren Martin Makenzie Martin Teri Martin Perla Martinez Emily Matthews Katie McMurray Jefferson Merys Brandon Miller Grace Miller Corbin Minniefield Rose Monachino Tim Moore Katy Moyer Madison Mueth Amelia Mullins Tori Murray Courtney Nichols Alayna Oberto Alli Olson Nicole Ortiz Viviana Ortiz Michelle Pace Wes Page Alyssa Parsells Jessie Pipes Jessica Poe Karis Pruitt Jordan Radebaugh Hunter Randall Bailey Reardon Anthony Ribaudo James Richards Caroline Riesenberg Daniel Roberts Michesa Robinson Johnathan Rosa

JJ Russell Mackenzie Ryle Jazmin Salazar Hannah Sanders Abbey Schwartze John Schwarzel Emily Scott Erin Sheehy Taylor Shepeard Brittany Shipps Ashtyn Sills Mackenzie Sinclair Alexis Sirna Allison Sirna Mandolin Sloan Eric Smith Leonard Smith Nic Smith Melanie Southworth Sajel Spani Danny Spencer Jenna Stanek Kathryn-Renee Summers Victoria Surdyke Sheyanna Thompson Mickell Tolbert Abby Trapp Kyler Tusay Loren Vasquez Caitlin Vogler Emily Wagner Alex Walters Bryce Warden Kyle Washington Forrestt White Brandis Whitfield McKayla Wilbanks Abbie Wilkinson Kana Wilkinson Miranda Winkie Lexie Worden Sabrina Young Amanda Zabala

Appendix B: Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture Series Program


Appendix C: Avila University FINCA Village Bank in Zambia


vila University First Year Students voted to sponsor a Village Bank in Zambia. A Village Bank is a financial support group consisting of friends, neighbors and family members who guarantee the small loans of one another. These groups of individuals would not otherwise have the collateral to take out a loan with a commercial bank. “Village Banking allows FINCA to provide financial services to the poorest of the working poor and empowers them to borrow working capital for their microenterprises (FINCA, 2014).� Zambia, population 12.1 million, is one of the poorest countries in the



world. Eighty-six percent of the population lives below the poverty line and 50% of citizens are unemployed. Ninety-eight percent of FINCA clients have on-time repayment for their microloans (FINCA, 2014). Works Cited FINCA (2014). Retrieved from JnJ0H/b.7751941/k.22A/FINCA_Village_Bank_Sponsorship_Program. htm#.UthGtGTnbow. FINCA (2014). Retrieved from JnJ0H/b.6088537/k.BE83/Zambia.htm#.UuahatLnbow.

Appendix D: Students Kiva & FINCA Loan Portfolio


vila first year students and First Year Seminar instructors made $25 loans through Kiva and FINCA, reaching all corners of the world and a variety of businesses. Overall, they contributed $9,225 to the microloan industry, including 198 microfinance loans to 59 people in 29 countries. A $4,000 contribution to FINCA, funded the establishment of a Village Bank in Zambia in the name of Avila University.


ESTABLISHMENT OF VILLAGE BANK, ZAMBIA – $4000 LOAN DISTRIBUTION – $2,750 110 loans were made to 27 different people in 5 countries. 60% of the loans were made to females and 40% to males. Location

Percent of Loans

Zambia 61% Afghanistan 23% Malawi 7%


Percent of Loans

Haiti 6% El Salvador 3%


LOAN DISTRIBUTION – $2,475 88 loans were made to 32 borrowers in 24 countries. 60% of the loans were made to females and 40% to males. Location

Percent of Loans

Uganda 17% Georgia 9% Indonesia 8% USA 8% Cambodia 7% Philippines 7% El Salvador 6% Mongolia 6% Nicaragua 5% Kenya 3% Kosovo 3% Kyrgyzstan 3%


Percent of Loans

Liberia 3% Pakistan 2% Armenia 1% Ecuador 1% Jordan 1% Lebanon 1% Mexico 1% Peru 1% Samoa 1% Sierra Leone 1% Tajikistan 1% Togo 1%

NOTE: As the recipients payback their loans, the money will be sent directly to Kiva or FINCA where it will be  reinvested to finance another loan. This creates a perpetual cycle of microloaning that started with the initial l oans from our students. None of the loans will be repaid to any Avila students, faculty, or administration.


Common Reading Program


vila University provides a common reading for all first year students as part of the First Year Experience. Student success research is clear about how this type of program can assist in emphasizing academic importance prior to the start of classes and assist in building community within a first year cohort. All Avila first year students receive information about The Common Reading Program during the summer prior to the start of classes. The topic of the Common Reading Program is always global in nature which connects with Avila’s mission of providing students with opportunities to prepare for contributions to the global community.

found at, Copyright © 2006-2009, This I Believe, Inc. Reprinted with permission of This I Believe, Inc.

2012 Unbroken by Laura Hilenbrand A World War II story of survival, resilience and redemption of Louis Zamperini. The movie version, directed by Angelina Jolie, debuts in December 2014.

2009 Series of Articles Related to Hunger and Poverty

2011 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer A remarkable story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. 2010 Series of Articles Related to Hunger and Poverty Reid, Barbara. (2009, July 20-27). Always Enough: Heavenly Bread. America, p.45. New York: American Press, Inc. “Finding the Flexibility to Survive,” Copyright © 2008 by Brighton Earley. Part of the This I Believe Essay Collection

United Nations. (2009). The millennium development goals report. New York, NY. “The Time to Help Is Now,” Copyright © 2008 by Maria Zapetis. Part of the This I Believe Essay Collection found at, Copyright © 2006-2009, This I Believe, Inc. Reprinted with permission of This I Believe, Inc.

Vidal, John. (2008, September 24). All out on poverty: Hunger: what has been achieved? Guardian Newsprint Supplement, p.2. London, England. “Finding the Flexibility to Survive,” Copyright © 2008 by Brighton Earley. Part of the This I Believe Essay Collection found at, Copyright © 2006-2009, This I Believe, Inc. Reprinted with permission of This I Believe, Inc. United Nations. (2008). The millennium development goals report. New York, NY. “The Time to Help Is Now,” Copyright © 2008 by Maria Zapetis. Part of the This I Believe Essay Collection found at, Copyright © 2006-2009, This I Believe, Inc. Reprinted with permission of This I Believe, Inc.

Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture Series


vila University received exclusive rights from former President Harry S. Truman to establish a lecture series in his name in 1970. The permission was granted to Sr. Olive Louise Dallavis, CSJ, who serviced as President of Avila from 1960-1985.

Recent Past Lecturers


William F. Buckley

Political Analyst, Author & Columnist

Joseph Califano

Secretary of Health, Education & Welfare

Clarence M. Kelley

Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Nancy Landon Kassebaum

Kansas Senator

Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ

Social Justice Activist

Louis Zamperini

WWII Prisoner of War, 1936 American Olympian

Avila University • • 11901 Wornall Road • Kansas City, Missouri 64145 • 816.942.8400

Student Reflections - First Year Experience 2013