Tools for Schools

“Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Give a woman microcredit, she, her husband, her children and her extended family will eat for a lifetime.”

The word microcredit encompasses the idea of lending small amounts of money at affordable interest rates to a self-employed person or someone seeking to start up a small business. Bono didn’t mention what a child might do with such a loan, but that’s the focus of the book One Hen, a children’s story — inspired by true events — that explores the tremendous difference one tiny loan can make.

Written for ages 8 to 12 by Katie Smith Milway, One Hen is part of the CitizenKid collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens. Vibrantly illustrated, it addresses the issue of microfinance in the developing world in a way that’s easy for kids to relate to. The story follows Kojo, a little Ghanaian boy who uses a few coins left over from a loan secured by his mother to buy a hen. Kojo cares for his hen, and when she produces eggs, he sells some of them to earn money. With his egg money, Kojo is eventually able to pay back his loan and then soon buy another hen.

Well, one hen quickly leads to another, and as the years pass, Kojo’s life changes – for the better – in small but significant ways as both he and his business grow. Readers learn about financial responsibility, personal initiative, global awareness and giving back, as they follow Kojo’s story.

The book also gave rise to a great idea, One Hen Inc., an organization that empowers kids to become social entrepreneurs who make a difference for themselves and the world. One Hen Inc. does this by equipping educators with educational resources to inspire kids to grow in character and concern for others. Check out their programs for curriculum resources, web-based activities and hands-on projects for grades 3 to 8.

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