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.

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08/19/2009 by

Emily Snodden is a rising senior at Westminster School in Connecticut.

[caption id="attachment_257" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Emily at a Village Meeting"]Emily at a Village Meeting[/caption]

The beads of sweat had long ago dripped down my spine and saturated my blouse with moisture as we approached what seemed to be a village. The scattered houses made from decaying plywood, tin, and mud looked similar to the huts I see on commercials late at night trying to raise money for starving children. However, I saw a few cable dishes weighing down the roofs they rested on and realized the slight prosperity in this devastated surrounding. Our guide paused outside the walls of the village to wait for members of our group who had fell behind.

As we waited a few locals passed, each person radiating in gratefulness. One elder man made me wonder, ignorantly, what he had to be grateful for. I guessed from his darkened, worn skin that he had spent many years laboring in the scorching sun and assumed he has little to show for his efforts. Even so as he passed atop his donkey and the inconceivable amounts of lavender he carried into the village, he shot me a welcoming, toothless smile that sent shivers down my sweat drenched back. When we finally entered the village, a woman, holding one child on her hip and carrying another in a shawl that hung around her neck, was bent over a stream scooping water into a metal pale.

08/17/2009 by

Muhammad Yunus attended a reception in his honor, following his receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and delivered a stirring speech about his 33 year fight against poverty and what he plans in for the future.

Watch on YouTube.

08/14/2009 by

Yeardley Smith is the voice of television character Lisa Simpson, and an active Grameen Foundation supporter.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hello Delightfuls,

Pull up a chair, I have had a very fancy 43 hours!

I just got back from Washington, DC, where I attended a private reception co-hosted by my favorite Grameen Foundation, for Professor Muhammad Yunus, Mary Robinson, and Dr.  Pedro Jos Greer, all of whom received the Presidential Medal of Freedom yesterday.

You can imagine that when I said I was going to DC for the party, my friends had two questions for me: What are you going to wear? And do you get to attend the ceremony itself and meet President and Mrs. Obama?

08/12/2009 by

Alex Counts is President and CEO of Grameen Foundation.

[caption id="attachment_223" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Muhammad Yunus receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama"]Obama and Yunus_crop
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Today’s ceremony where President Barack Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Professor Muhammad Yunus and 15 other incredibly accomplished citizens was a moment when any American, and any person, who wants the world to be a better place could feel proud. America’s highest civilian award was a well-deserved honor for Dr. Yunus based on more than three decades of accomplishment benefiting Bangladesh’s and the world’s poor, through championing microfinance and social business.

When President and Michelle Obama entered the room at 3:10pm, there was electricity unlike anything I had ever felt.

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