This is the fourth in a series of blog posts from each of the CommonBond members and employees who will join us on our second-annual trip to Ghana to see CommonBond's Social Promise in action. Here, CommonBond CEO and Co-Founder David Klein, reflects on last year's trip and discusses what he is looking forward to this year.
One year ago, I touched down in Ghana along with three CommonBond members and two employees to see CommonBond's social mission in action.
We call it our "Social Promise” and it's simple: for every loan funded on the CommonBond platform, we fund the education of a student in need. To make this real, we've partnered with Pencils of Promise (PoP), which builds schools, empowers teachers and promotes literacy in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos.
To date, CommonBond's work with PoP has helped thousands of children in Ghana get access to a quality education.
Last October, I spent five days in Ghana, where I visited some of the schools, pitched in to help build a new one, and even took part in a special inauguration ceremony for a brand-new school that was opening two days later. From that trip, I came away with a powerful grasp of just how much impact our Social Promise is having.
Now, I'm looking forward to returning to Ghana this time, with five of our members (Erica, Jessica, Melinda, Jasmine and Alex) and two of our employees (TJ from our Tech Team and Annah from our Care Team). Last year's trip was the first one we took, and it left such a significant impact on all of us that we decided to make the CommonBond Impact in Action Trip an annual endeavor, giving different members and employees the opportunity to experience the good they are doing just for being a part of the CommonBond community.
Following last year's trip, I reflected on the experience as one that was particularly special because it made our social mission very real to me. Every student, teacher and community member we met reinforced this. We met a 20-year-old man who was in 7th grade and read aloud for us to show how much pride he had in his education. We met volunteers in the village of Aflao who took time on a Sunday to help build a new school for their community. And, on our final day, we watched as a teacher led her class through a science reading lesson using e-reader tablets. The entire experience brought our social mission to life in a completely new way.
I came away from the trip encouraged by our work, endeared by our members, and emboldened by our Social Promise. Put simply, it was the best way to contextualize why we do what we do.
That's why I couldn't be more excited to return to Ghana in the coming days and experience our impact anew. I'm looking forward to getting to know five more of our members and spending time with two of our amazing employees, all of whom have shared thoughtful perspectives in videos and essays on how education has impacted their own lives, as well as what they're looking forward to on this trip.
I can't wait to return to some of the schools and communities we visited last year and see the differences that a year has made in the lives of the students, teachers and community members. I can't wait to pitch in again and help to construct a new school in a community that needs it. And I can't wait to connect with even more of the students whose lives our members are impacting through our social mission.
I look forward to sharing more about this year's experience when I return!