Ishita Ghosh is Research Lead on Grameen Foundation's Financial Literacy Project.
Grameen Foundation Insights
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At Grameen Foundation, our goal is to spur innovation in the global movement to eliminate extreme poverty. Part of that work is to develop better solutions and share them with people like you.
On GF Insights, we share lessons learned from our leaders in the field, news about efforts to expand access to financial and information services for the poor, and how poverty-focused organizations are using data to improve the way they work.
Katy McElligott is a Regional Development Officer at Grameen Foundation and is currently traveling in Haiti to visit our partners at Fonkoze.
Haiti is a fascinating place. My first impressions just scratch the surface of a very complicated country with a very complicated history. I knew very little about it until the day I arrived and am soaking up as much as I can, so I can understand the context in which most of Haiti's citizens and microfinance clients survive. I can honestly say, the majority of Haiti's citizens seem to be proud, resilient survivors.
I am on this trip as a Grameen Foundation employee looking to better understand the work of our long-time partner Fonkoze. After the outpouring of support for Haiti after last January’s earthquake, I wanted to bring donors to the field to see how their, and others’, money was being invested. After a few days of observing Fonkoze's work on the ground, I am so proud that we are partnering with them. Here are a few examples of what I've seen and learned.
Two days ago we accompanied the staff of the Chemen Lavi Miyo (“the road to a better life”) program, which focuses on reaching the poorest, to client houses. There, we met women who had just joined the program. Most had little or no assets, and were single mothers. We had to take a bumpy ride on the bed of a pick-up truck to get out to their village, but once we were there we received warm welcomes. These women have a long way to climb to get themselves out of poverty, but Fonkoze is helping provide the opportunity for them to do so and the women clearly feel empowered to try. I look forward to tracking their progress and their increased ability to care for their new assets, which include goats, chickens, and pigs.
Camilla Nestor is Grameen Foundation’s Vice President for Microfinance Programs.
Read the Growth Guarantees 5 Year Repor
Starting today, hundreds will gather at the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to publicly declare their commitment to alleviating some of the world’s most pressing social concerns. This year’s event also marks a milestone for Grameen Foundation. Five years ago we were part of the inaugural meeting, where we launched the Grameen Foundation Growth Guarantees Program – an initiative designed to increase microfinance clients’ access to loans by guaranteeing local funding for the microfinance institutions (MFIs) that serve them.
Olga Morawczynski is Project Manager for Grameen Foundation's financial literacy project in Uganda.
When I started the financial literacy project at the Grameen Foundation in Uganda, I was faced with some very fundamental questions—what exactly is financial literacy? And do the poor really need it, or even want it? Aside from my own questions, I also faced some reservations from colleagues in the field. Many were very frank in their opinions. There is no need for financial literacy, they told me. What the industry needs is appropriate financial products. The learning bit will take care of itself.