José's ecological bank
Fund catcher

“Children can make big changes with small actions, we only need the opportunity to do it”

José  (14)
Peru
Theme: Environment, Poverty

José's ecological bank

José lives in Peru. He was 7 years old when he founded the first ecological bank for children. His motivation is to fight poverty among children!

Jose himself grew up in poverty. Just like many of his peers he had no money for school stuff or regularly went to school without breakfast regularly. Now he teaches children at different schools in Peru in on how to save money and how to keep the environment clean.

The project started of with 20 children and has now grown to some 2,500 children students. All of them can afford their school fees now. José strives to offer education to at least 20.000 children more.

What's the problem?
José grew up in poverty. His classmates often came to school without breakfast and had no money to buy school supplies. Many children in José’s neighborhood could not even go to school.

What is José's solution?
José was 6 years old when his father taught him about money. How do you save? How do you spend it? What is the value of money? José saw that his classmates did not know how to deal with money. If they even had any. He therefore decided to set up an ecological bank for kids, using recyclable waste as payment.

Kids collect and bring in their recyclable waste and José gives them money for it. He gets this money from organizations that collect the recyclable waste. This way, children learn to take care of the environment and they learn the value of money. The children can, for example, buy school supplies at José’s store.

José also gives the students a microcredit, which is a small loan. This allows children to eat every day and go to school, even if their parents do not have money or are unemployed. Children and their parents pay José back in small amounts.

In addition, José provides financial information. With this he teaches other children how to use money.

What is the goal?
Thanks to José's ecological bank, 2,500 children can now pay their school fees. His goal is to makes it 20,000 children.

He hopes that children will have no money problems when they grow older, and do not have to live in poverty anymore.

How does José work?
José started saving money at an early age. This allowed him, with the help of his parents, to open a small shop. Kids could buy their school supplies here, not with money, but with recyclable waste.

Later it became possible for children to exchange recyclable waste for money. José then deposited this money into their savings account.

Who does José need?

  • Recycling companies pay José money for the recyclable waste. He has special agreements with these organizations. He gets the highest price for the waste, so that he can save money with the kids.
  • Students support José in different departments of his ecological bank. Such as finances, providing information and helping students.
  • A children's committee that supervises and cooperates.
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