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FOUNDED BY A GROUP OF EIGHT, YOUR ONE WORLD HOSTS ERIN, ANGELA GEE, JAZZ, JEANNETTE LOAKMAN, JENNIFER BAO YU 'PRECIOUS JADE' JUE-STEUCK, DR. MEI-MEI AKWAI ELLERMAN, AND SABRINA SPAN 3 CONTINENTS and REPRESENT 6 GENERATIONS of CHINESE ADOPTEES. (scroll down for more details)
Saturday, February 19, 2011
A Panel Discussion on Microfinance
Photo Courtesy of Marcia Odell
The past two weeks I have been involved in planning a panel with four speakers on microfinance, with an emphasis on women's groups. The even is scheduled for March 10th at Brandeis University and will feature four academics and practitioners, Janina Matuszeski of Oxfam America, Marcia Odell, a women's empowerment specialist and former Director of WORTH with women's programs launched in 10 countries in Africa and Asia, Kim Wilson, lecturer at Tufts School for Law and Diplomacy and Steve Atlas, a well-known independent documentary filmmaker and social justice advocate who has worked with ACCION and many other NGOS worldwide.
The panel on Microfinance: Does It Work? promises to be challenging and inspiring. The discussants will address two forms of microfinance, credit-based and savings based that have helped to give primarily women but also men from low-income origins, especially in developing countries, the keys to becoming small entrepreneurs, providers for their families, and empowered individuals.
It is immensely exciting to witness how women who were illiterate and powerless, given access to small loans or introduced to ways of saving collectively, even if only the equivalent of a few cents per day, are able to slowly create their own "banks" [often a simple metal box with three keys so it requires three different "bankers" to open it], build micro businesses and become independent. I am looking forward to the discussion as to whether giving out loans which have to be repaid to an outside lender
leads to the same stunning results as having women be the generators of the the funds they then lend out to members of the community.
For an example of micro credit (loan-based), I invite you to check out the videos filmed by Steve Atlas on the following site: (Delia, Talmadge and Tipping Point especially recommended)
For examples of savings-based programs, please click on WORTH and watch the video on Nepal:
The number of countries where the majority of the population live on less than $2.00 per day is staggering.
Everyone who has access to this blog is among the fortunate, those who have a home, access to education, food and water, plus so much more. I, for one, appreciate each day and try to give back through my commitment to social activism. Hope all the One Worlders will find ways to do the same, in whatever manner you can!