Kiva: Our contribution

In 2005, the international nonprofit Kiva was founded. It is based in San Francisco and their mission is to connect people all over the world through lending money to borrowers to alleviate poverty. Borrowers can apply for money to help start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. Everything donated to Kiva is given directly to funding loans, Kiva and the administration are paid for through optional donations and support from grants and sponsors. So far, 1.6 million lenders have lent $949.7 million to 2.2 million borrowers. Kiva has a vision that if a loan from them helps a person or group in one place, it will create opportunities for others as well. A ripple effect could shape the future for families or even entire communities.

One of the main mottos for Kiva, is that the money involved is a loan, and not a donation. Therefore the process of choosing the borrower you wish to partner with is important. The repayment rate is over 97%, but there is always the chance that unpredicted events occur to the country or close relations of the borrower, preventing them from paying back the loans. We were given the task of finding someone we were going to lend money to, and we started with using the Microsoft Office program “Planner”. Here we could insert our tasks, how long it would take, and who would do what. It worked great, and we were quickly set to work and searching for candidates.

In addition to what the borrowers wished to use the money for, we also had to check the loan length, repayment schedule, risk rating, and general country information for where they’re from. Many candidates looked promising, but had long loan lengths or bad risk ratings. Both these we tried to avoid, considering that it would be nice to see if our money helped before we finish school, and we did not want to send our money somewhere where it could easily go to waste.

Our candidate is called Arlene and is from Samar, one of the poorest provinces in Philippines. She moved to Manila, more specifically Malabon City, in hopes of a better future and getting a job. Arlene is married, together Arlene and her husband have two children. Arlene now owns a variety store, and needs the loan from Kiva to fill up the store’s stock. She hopes that her business will grow bigger so that she can provide for her family.

Arlene has already gotten 88% of her request, and only needs 50 more dollars. The loan length is 8 months, and she plans to pay back the debt monthly. Kiva’s webpage informes that currency exchange loss is possible, but we are willing to take the risk. Arlene has 3 stars out of 5 on her risk rating, and with 5 being the best, 3 stars are not too bad.  

Philippines is a developing country with a free market economy located in Asia. They have a high unemployment rate and a low gross domestic product, which makes their economy vulnerable. Arlene live in these conditions and that’s why we want to help her. The market economy makes it a good investment. She comes from poverty and we want to help her business so she doesn’t have to go back to living in poverty. Our hope is that our contribution will help Arlene get a more revenues, but also we’re hoping on getting our money back. Philippines have a lot of people working in primary industry and are far behind on the industrial revolution. We hope that Arlene will be able to update her store in the future.

Written by Julie, Sara and Sara

Sources:

https://www.kiva.org/lend/1194356

https://www.kiva.org/

https://snl.no/Økonomi_og_næringsliv_på_Filippinene

Dear president-elect Donald Trump

Dear president-elect Donald Trump

Congratulations on becoming the new president of the United States. I believe that this won’t be the end of the world like many people says. It might be though, but thats dew to your views on climate change. Not because you want to build a wall between Mexico and the US, or because you think countries need more nuclear weapons, or because you said you’d date your own daughter if she wasn’t related to you. But you claiming that climate change and global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive. That’s what may lead to the end of the world with you having responsibility for the most powerful  country in the world.

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According to the documentary “Before the flood” made by national geographic, 97% of climate change scientists think that global warming is real. Why shouldn’t we believe them? You have a bachelor in economy, but these scientists  have years of education, experience and knowledge dedicated just to changes in the climate. They have dedicated their life to find solutions to the challenges we face with the sea levels and temperatures rising, and the poles melting. Then I wonder what basis do you have to make such a statement? Your four year business degrade?

The purpose of this letter is not to make a foul of you. You have made it perfectly clear to me that you are in good conditions of doing that yourself. In stead my goal here is to prove you wrong. I am afraid you will realise too late that with the sea levels rising, will your precious Florida be a state where no one can live in the end. Species from rainforests and the arctics will no longer exist. If we let this go too far, humans may not be able to live on the earth anymore. Like it or not the temperatures have been rising frightening the past years.

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Picture source: https://cs.lbl.gov/news-media/news/2013/special-feature-supercomputers-map-our-changing-climate/

When you look at these pictures, what do you think? Do you think their all faked be the Chines?

Business Insider writes “Trump says clean water may be the “most important issue we face as a nation for the next generation,” and it will be a “top priority” for his administration.” (http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-climate-change-global-warming-environment-policies-plans-platforms-2016-10?r=US&IR=T&IR=T). With the climate changes there will be no people to create clean water for. Poverty, terrorism, unemployment and clean water are all very important issues. None of these on the other hand put the planet earth in danger.Therefor it is important that you also understand the danger of not doing anything to the constant rising temperature. There are serious consequences for pretending like nothing is happening. I hope that when you become president you will take som time to listen to different views on the climate change issues.

Sources:

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-climate-change-global-warming-environment-policies-plans-platforms-2016-10?r=US&IR=T&IR=T

https://www.beforetheflood.com/explore/the-experts/

https://cs.lbl.gov/news-media/news/2013/special-feature-supercomputers-map-our-changing-climate/

The Good Lie

We watched the movie “The Good Lie” in class today, it is a movie about siblings who escape from the second sudanese civil war. After their families and village are massacred they start walking through the country to find safety. Mamere (Arnold Oceng), Paul (Emmanuel Jal), Jeremiah (Ger Duany), Theo (Femi Oguns), Daniel and Abital (Kuoth Wiel)walk together and are joined by other refugees along the way. One night they sleep in the grassland, but the next morning Mamere gets up and sees two enemy soldiers. He quickly lays down on the grass again, the soldiers still saw him. Theo hides everyone and says to the soldiers that he’s alone. They take him to custody and the rest of the siblings gets away. They arrive at the refugee camp in Nairobi, Kenya after all. Daniel gets sick and dies at the camp a little after they arrive.

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Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal and Kuoth Wiel are all survivors from the Sudan civil war. The war ended in 2005, and the movie came out in 2014. Get Duany came to the United States when he was sixteen after he fled to Ethiopia. He was recruited as a child solider during the war. Emmanuel Jal is also a former child solider, but has a different story. He met a woman named Emma McCune who convinced him he shouldn’t be a child soldier. Emmanuel was eleven years old at the time and Emma McCune adopted him. She helped him attend school and after she was killed in a car accident her friends helped him continue school. Kuoth Wiel came to America with her family when she was eight years old. Now she lives in Los Angeles and is an actress.

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To start a new life in a country with a new culture isn’t easy. In the movie you get to see that there isn’t always easy even though they’re lucky to be offered a new start. It’s a new language, different laws and norms to adjust. You get to see how generous and thankful these refugees are compared to many, in this case, Americans from the movie. They share their food and give big thanks to everyone that help them. There is so much they need to learn, but they don’t have a lot of time.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Sudanese_Civil_War

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Lie

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Jal

http://dfsmag.com/it-could-have-been-me-kuoth-wiel-shares-her-freedom-story/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ger_Duany

My advice to the Minister of Education

Last Friday I went to a conference at NHO with my International English class where we listened to teachers, companies and politicians talk about technology in schools. There were tre teachers (including our english teacher) who spoke about their experiences with new technology. It was really interesting to listen to how they have to deal with the technological changes in the society, and how they have adapted to this. This was the engaging to hear, because it gave me a insight in how the teachers felt.

So my advice to the Minister of Education after listening to the teachers is to adapt the schools after the technology today. Get teachers motivated to use new learning techniques, but do not over do this. In my opinion giving out iPads to small kids is wrong, I think this distracts them from learning their curriculum. In such a early age school is not supposed to be so serious. Giving out iPad is allowing kids to play on them instead of listening to the teachers. I am very pro using technology to make students more engaged in the lectures, but there has to be a limit on how much technology being used.

One of the teachers at BI had many great ideas on how to include technology in her lectures and outside school time. She made short youtube clips to share with her students that gave them something to reflect on until the next lecture. Since there are a lot of students in one class at BI she found a soft box she could use. The box is soft and has a microphone, so when she asked a question in her lecture she could throw it to whoever she wanted to answer. I think her ideas is just the amount of technology there should be in a class at school.

Technology in school should be more customised the society we live in, it is not like we suddenly will stop using technology. The society can not adjust the schools, therefor schools have to give after. This is also something teachers should be aware of. I know many teachers not like these changes, but this is just how the society is developing.

How the media portrays the two candidates

How social media and news stations present the candidates in the US presidential election has a huge impact on the voters. What you read on facebook or in newspapers isn’t always neutral and it’s important to know whom the media supports.

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Fox news is one of the biggest TV news channels in the US and claims to be a neutral news network, but they seem to be a bit more on the republic side. On their webpage they have various articles about the US election. In the headlines of the articles you can already see that they´re supporting Trump more.

CNN was the first big news channel in USA, and is considered relatively neutral in the election. They cover the election with political debates held by the hosts of the show. Both representatives are able to say their own opinions, witch leads to CNN standing neutral.

 

New york times is the biggest newspaper in New York and has been on print since 1851. They follow the election close and their election forecast claims Hillary Clinton has a 92% changes becoming president of the united stats. Still it seams like they try to stay neutral.

USA today has approximately seven million readers daily and is one of the biggest newspapers in USA. They are known for giving a neutral summary of the election. They don’t always have political articles, and welcomes us to a view into the candidate’s life.

 

National public radio is a half independent radio station funded by both public and private donations. All Things Considered is most listened to radio program in the United States. They’re also neutral and cover a lot more topics then only politics.

The host of The Rush Limbaugh show is the conservative Rush Limbaugh and the station has 13,2 million weekly listeners. Limbaugh covers a lot of the election and is one of Trumps biggest supporters. He even has t-shirts that he sells on his webpage that says “never Hillary” and “I’m a Hillary deplorable”.

 

It seems like the biggest medias are the most neutral, but the smaller often had picked their side. It’s important to read and listen to multiple sources before you decide whom you stand with. This way you prevent getting fooled by not neutral sources.

Written by Sara Emilie and Sara Ulla

 

9/11 a day we will never forget

9/11 will always be remembered as the date of the worst terror attack in history took place. Four passenger airlines were hijacked by 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists. Two of the planes crashed into the south and the north towers of the world trade center complex in New York, also known as the Twin Towers. Another plane crashed into Pentagon in the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense in Virginia. The fourth plane was headed for Washington D.C, but the passengers manage to stop the hijackers. So therefor they crashed the plane into a field in Pennsylvania.

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At 8:45 am, Tuesday september 11th, a American Airlines plane were crash into the north tower of the world trade center in New York. The plane hit between the 80th and 110th floor, and made a big explosion due to the 20,000 gallons of jet fuel that were loaded in the plane. Only 18 minutes later the second plane hits the south tower, around the 60th floor. Just enough time for everyone to start filming the first tower, the other one strikes. The whole world watched the second plane hit, and the terrorist got their attack spread just as they hoped. People got trapped in the higher levels of the buildings and several were killed when the planes hit.

PENTAGON

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Five hijackers attacked the cockpit already 35 minutes into the flight. One of the hijackers were trained as a pilot and crashed the flight that was headed for Los Angeles into the Pentagon. All 64 passengers died and 125 other on the inside of Pentagon. The crash started a huge fire and lead to the collapse of the building.

9/11 2001 was the deadliest day in the history for New York firefighters, 343 lost their lives in the operation. All together there was almost 3000 people killes in the attacks.

Sources:

http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-attacks

http://list25.com/25-worst-acts-terrorism-committed/5/

Film review: Gravity

In class today we saw the movie Gravity, since we’re going to the IPN conference next Friday and listen to the former astronaut Rick Hieb.

The movie Gravity was released in 2013, and was directed by Alfonso Cuaron. It goes under the genre drama/sci-fi, and has received a total of impressingly 7 Oscar awards.

The movie has two main characters, Dr. Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalski, who are working on a spaceship. A storm of garbage hits and ruins their spaceship. Everyone inside and one of the astronauts die before they manage to evacuate. Ryan Stone tumbles through space, but Matt Kowalski recover her and they are able to navigate back to the spaceship. They find it in a very damaged condition, and decide to try to reach an International Space Station. After navigating 1.450 km they try to grab onto the ISS. Stone’s leg gets tangled in the parachute from the spaceship, and she grabs the rope that is connecting her with Kowalski, but they quickly realize that it can’t support them both.

Kowalski detaches himself from Stone despite her protests. After Stone gets inside the ISS a fire breaks out. She manages to rush to the Soyuz, but when she tries to navigate the parachute is tangled in the ISS. She spacewalks to detach the parachute from the ISS and release the capsule. The garbage storm strikes again and ruins the ISS. She uses the Soyuz to get to a Chinese space station, since she can’t use the Soyuz without the parachute. And finally starts her life make or break journey back home.

The two main characters are played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Sandra takes the lead as Dr. Ryan Stone, who is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. While Clooney plays the veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski who is on his last journey before retiring. Dr. Ryan Stone is both brave and smart, with an incredible willpower. She is very down to earth and likeable, and she fights till the very end. Matt Kowalski is noble and protective, kind and helpful. And he puts Ryan’s life before his own, which sadly leads to an unfortunate destiny for himself.

Almost all of the story takes place in space, except for a small part at the end when she has made it back home to earth.


My favorite part of the movie is in the end where Stone finally arrives to the Earth. It is very enjoyable to watch how happy she gets when she takes her first step on the ground after almost dying in space. I also “liked” the part when Kowalski gave up his own life to save Stone’s. I was very touched by that part. All in all I thought the movie was very interesting, and I would very much recommend it!