Blaine students raise money for microlending

Published on Mon, May 24, 2010
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Peacepennies, an organization established by Blaine High School junior Phia Sennett, with support from juniors Cassidy Hill and Martell Hesketh, will be selling hand-made and fair trade jewelry made by female artisans in Mali and Darfur to raise money for microlending and universal birth registration. The event is scheduled for May 30, following Bellingham's annual Ski to Sea race.

This is the second year that Phia, Martell, and Cassidy will represent peacepennies at the Festival.  Funds raised through jewelry sales at last year’s festival were loaned to 38 women.  To date, Kiva's peacepennies team has loaned more than $8,500 to women entrepreneurs through the person-to-person microlending organization, These loans work to foster economic sustainability in impoverished communities. 

Since 2008 peacepennies has supported a number of low cost, high impact projects such as microlending and young children’s dental services. Recently Phia and Sheylin Sennett, Cassidy Hill, and Martell Hesketh received a grant from Ashoka Youth Venture to develop the Passport Project, an initiative designed to raise awareness about the need for universal birth registration.  Each year more than 50 million children around the globe are never registered at birth, thereby limiting their ability to attend school, obtain healthcare, own property, cross international borders, marry, and seek employment.  Children who are never registered at birth are susceptible to trafficking, child labor, and other forms of abuse and mistreatment.


About peacepennies is a youth-led organization that works to shed light on the state of global poverty and the most cost effective and fresh ways to reduce it. Established in 2008, peacepennies raises funds to support the work of inspirational organizations and programs that are helping to alleviate poverty and promote peace in the most productive, sustainable, and innovative ways.  For additional information visit