Agroup of students and teachers at NIST have started the NIST Microcredit Bank ( NMB) to tackle the issue of poverty. Created as a student- run service group with the aim of supporting all members of the NIST community, the NMB offers debt relief, business loans and scholarships for the children of the school’s support staff. 2016 is the fourth year that the NMB has provided scholarships to children of support staff, and also represents the largest number granted thus far: 33 in total.
Based on the work of Mohammed Yu- nus, winner of a Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering work in microfinance, the NMB initially focused on providing small business loans with very little interest to support staff at NIST who sought to open their own businesses. This focus gradually shifted to providing education- based debt relief through scholarships for the children of those staff members, aligning to NIST’S belief in the transformative power of learning, and contemporary research in sustainable economic and social development through education as opposed to simple philanthropy. Looking to the future, the microcredit bank is continually looking to improve and identify ways to further engage staff, students and parents. In the meantime they aim to enrich the lives and livelihoods of all members of the NIST community through their unique work, which represents a first among international schools in Thailand. Head of School James Macdonald captured this passion best as he spoke to this year’s scholarship recipients: “Even though you may attend other schools, NIST is also your school, and you are an important part of the community here”.