Having been a Kiva lender for years, it is good to see an educational alternative. Vittana has been getting started for a little while, but has now hit its stride. Microlending for education in developing nations. I just made my first loan to a female student in Jordan. I read her story, learned about her ambitions, and marvel at the opportunity to be able to help her. Certainly worth your time and consideration, especially this holiday season. If you are familiar with Kiva, it works almost exactly the same. $25 for a loan; community collaboration to complete the entire amount. You would be hard pressed to read some of these stories, see the optimism, and remain unmoved.

Education works; it is the only thing that has ever worked to improve an individual’s ability to improve their own future. Education improves earning potential for many in these developing nations by 200-300%. That means it works. Give it a try.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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