ADOTAS – OneHen.org, an interactive site focused on engaging and educating children, parents and teachers on the benefits of microfinance and ultimately a call to action announced its official launch today.
By using games and other engaging activities the site exposes users to financial concepts such as entrepreneurialism to help children understand how they can make a broader impact. The site was developed by Sapient Interactive, the marketing services group of Sapient, with assistance from Bain & Company’s Community works Team, Opportunity International and author of “One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference,” Katie Smith Milway.
The book tells the tale of a West African boy who received a small loan to purchase a hen, which begins his entrepreneurial journey. The book is inspired by the true story of Reverend Kwabena Darko, one of the largest poultry farmers in West Africa. He is also the founder of the Ghanaian nonprofit Sinapi Aba, which is part of the microfinance organization Opportunity International. The book and the site were officially introduced at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club in Miami last week.
Milway stated “Microfinance is one of the best ways to help people in developing countries because it doesn’t depend on benefits trickling down from official aid programs, but rather on the resourcefulness of individuals. Microfinance is a particularly apt entry point for children into the world of international development, because it is based on practices that any child who has run a lemonade stand can understand. With the book and onehen.org, we now have a means to effectively reach and engage children worldwide. I’m hoping both will inspire kids and spur them to invest their lemonade stand earnings to help others reach their dreams.”
Beginning in May of 2008, children will also have an opportunity to make real donations to microfinancing projects through “virtual loans.” The site also provides information for donors and includes real-life success stories of individuals who have received loans from organizations such as Opportunity International.
Dan Barnicle, director of Program Management of Sapient stated “The challenge for us was creating an engaging Website capable of connecting both children and adults to a subject that may be foreign to them in many ways – microfinance. By leveraging the expertise of our team and the insights of the teams at Bain & Company, Opportunity International and Katie, we were able to turn a topic that has gained tremendous credence in professional development circles into a compelling and exciting interactive experience that not only promotes the benefits of microfinance but creates a call to action that can set other children on the path Reverend Darko took.”