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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07/21/2009 by

Kathleen M. Snoddon recently returned from Morocco where she was able to witness microfinance first-hand. This is the fourth in a five-part blog series about her journeys.

[caption id="attachment_184" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Fennan and her goats"]Memouna and her goats[/caption]

Fennan appeared to be in her early thirties.  She was pregnant with her fourth child.  Her other children were gathered around her, hiding behind her skirt and peering curiously at our group. Her loan from FONDEP had been 2000 Moroccan Dirham, about $250.  With it, she purchased two goats.  That was three years ago.  Her goats have since multiplied.  She has six.  Each morning, Fennan milks her goats and walks to the nearest market to sell the milk.  The trek is 7 kilometers each way, 14 kilometers each morning. This provides her with 30 Moroccan Dirham a day in income, $3.70.  Her husband, like most men in the village is a farm laborer. He works seasonally to plant and harvest the olive and apple trees and other products including lavender and fava beans that are grown in the countryside on the land owned by the “wealthy” men from the city. Fennan’s earnings provide a steady income for the family.

07/15/2009 by

Kathleen M. Snoddon recently returned from Morocco where she was able to witness microfinance first-hand. This is the third in a five-part blog series about her journeys.

GF Supporters Visit to Learn about MicrofinanceMuhammad Yunus’ model for non-collateralized, small loans consists of the formation of groups or “pods” that serve as a support system to guarantee that any one person does not default on their loan. Groups are formed with women who usually know each other and are, preferably, engaged in different enterprises.  This peer system has proven very effective and provides more than just monetary fall back in the case of sickness or an event that interferes with a borrower’s ability to make her loan payments. There is an emotional support system inherent in this structure.

07/10/2009 by

Kathleen M. Snoddon recently returned from Morocco where she was able to witness microfinance first-hand. This is the second in a five-part blog series about her journeys.

[caption id="attachment_172" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Microfinance Clients at a borrower meeting"]Microfinance Clients at a borrower meeting[/caption]

At the top of the ridge leading into the village, we encountered a small group of tattooed-faced Berber women washing their clothes and cooking utensils in the rudimentary but resourceful aqueduct system that ran the perimeter of the village.  They seemed curious but shy.  We had been advised not to take anyone’s pictures without their permission. Some of older generation still believes that a photo can somehow capture their soul.

Descending the dirt path, we heard a cackle of excitement.  As we reached our destination we saw a large Berber carpet laid on the ground under a grove of trees.  Hakima had told us to expect to meet with 6 to 8 women.  The plan was to meet together as a group to exchange greetings and stories and then to split into smaller groups to accompany the borrowers to their homes and places of business.  In this rural village, most businesses are run in or around each of their homes.

07/08/2009 by

Kathleen M. Snoddon recently returned from Morocco where she was able to witness microfinance first-hand. This is the first in a five-part blog series about her journeys.

[caption id="attachment_165" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Woman with mule heads to market"]Woman with mule heads to market[/caption]

We had been walking for about two and ½ hours and had stopped just outside the village to allow some of the stragglers in our group to catch up.  Hakima, the loan officer from FONDEP was expecting us.  Earlier in the week, she had gone into the Berber village to tell her borrowers that some adults and students were coming to visit and would like to meet them and learn about how their small loans had helped them and their families.

07/02/2009 by

Children, BoliviaNext month's Grameen Foundation e-newsletter will feature kids and young adults from all over the world talking about poverty. We will share video blogs from a group of high school and college students who recently visited Morocco to witness microfinance first-hand. We will include games, client stories and other interactive content for kids. And, we want to hear from YOUR kids, too!

Ask your kid! How will YOU end poverty?

Answers will appear in the July Grameen Foundation e-newsletter. Please include your child's first name, age, and hometown with response.

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