Children's book about micro-finance
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
The best part about talking to librarians is that they know about books on almost any topic! It was through a librarian friend that I heard about the children’s book One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway and Eugene Fernandes. This beautifully illustrated book tells the inspiring story of a boy in Ghana, named Kojo, who starts a small business with a loan to buy one chicken.
The book, for children and adults alike, clearly shows how micro-finance works to change the lives of a family, community, town and country. On the grassroots level, people in a community pool their savings together to create a small loan fund. As the story explains “None of the twenty families in the village have very much money, but they do have a good idea. Each family promises to save a bit of money so that one family can borrow all the savings to buy something important” (p.7). The families take turns borrowing the money to start or expand their businesses. When they pay back the loan, another family gets a chance to borrow the funds.
SIA small business grant recipient in Kenya with her chickens
This idea is what Spirit in Action calls a “merry-go-round” loan or a micro-savings group. In fact, one of the grant proposals approved at the June 2010 Board meeting helps establish a small-scale chicken project in Malawi, where the profits are added to the micro-savings pot, to be lent to different communities members on a rotating basis.
Giving people a chance to borrow money gives them a chance to make an investment in their future. In the story, which is based on the real life story of Kwabena Darko, Kojo borrows a few coins to buy one chicken. He takes care of the chicken, selling its eggs in the market so that he can pay back the loan and buy more chickens to expand his flock. He and his mom also eat some of the eggs to add more protein to their diets. After a year Kojo has made enough to go to school!
Kojo and his mom also benefit emotionally from the initial loan. “Kojo is proud of his eggs. And his mother is proud of Kojo. Bit by bit, one small hen is making a big difference” (p. 11).
Del Anderson knew just how much a few words of encouragement could bring hope to a person’s life. People who know they are loved and supported are more confident in all their enterprises! That’s why, for SIA, sharing and communicating with all our international partners is an important part of our mission. As Del always reminded people: Don’t let impossibilities intimidate you ~ do let possibilities motivate you.
This women's small poultry business experienced high demand for eggs
If you want to find out about just how successful Kojo is in his chicken enterprise, why not check out One Hen? And then read it to a friend or a child and get them thinking about how one small gift can make a significant difference in our world.
The book, for children and adults alike, clearly shows how micro-finance works to change the lives of a family, community, town and country. On the grassroots level, people in a community pool their savings together to create a small loan fund. As the story explains “None of the twenty families childrens-book-about-micro-financein the village have very much money, but they do have a good idea.