International Education Week: Foothill Students “Fund The Future”

Club+member+Max+Kosminskii+presents
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International Education Week: Foothill Students “Fund The Future”

Club member Max Kosminskii presents

Club member Max Kosminskii presents

Veronica Miller

Club member Max Kosminskii presents

Veronica Miller

Veronica Miller

Club member Max Kosminskii presents

Clayton Nagle, Staff Writer

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As part of International Education Week, Foothill’s Fund the Future Club presented to the student body on November 15th. The presentation discussed the ways in which club activities impact those in need globally and featured a preview of typical club proceedings.

Every Monday, the club gets together under the supervision of Economics professor Brian Evans and votes on how to loan its club funds, provided by ASFC, to those in need. The club is just one organization out of thousands of users of an online service called Kiva, which they use to furnish small loans for individual causes, employing a principle called microcredit.

Veronica Miller
Bianca Marconcini explains microcredit to the audience.

Fund the Future votes to distribute 300 dollars a week via Kiva. Each week, two club members will each pick a representative to present about, and afterward the club votes on which to send money to. The winner receives 200 dollars, while the loser receives $100 — so everyone gets a little something. Fund the Future also sends out educational loans specifically for students in need.

For someone in a third world country who needs just a few hundred dollars to provide medicine for their family, or purchase equipment to maintain their farm, such a small loan can mean all the difference. Furthermore, the loans are made without the need for collateral, or credit. This prevents anyone from being limited based on their circumstances.

As part of their presentation, Fund the Future held a mock meeting so that audience members could see what happens during regular proceedings. Audience members chose between two candidates; the first, Roger, was asking for funds to buy solar panels to make lamps for his community. The second, Thamer, was asking for money to pay for his son’s medical bills. In the end, the audience voted on Thamer, meaning he received $200, whereas Roger received $100 for his solar panel project.

To date, Fund the Future has lent out $39,000 across 317 loans in 55 different countries. The beauty of the system is that they are just loans, so the money eventually returns to Fund the Future, which lets the money be reloaned.

On November 30th, Fund the Future will be hosting a talk featuring Kelley Kobza, an international volunteer and the founder of Greater Good Haiti. The talk will feature her experience working with nonprofits in Haiti, and her experiences working in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. The talk will be in Appreciation Hall, Room 1501, with snacks and refreshments. For those interested in joining Fund the Future, the club meets Mondays, from 12 PM to 1 PM in Room 3307.