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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05/25/2009 by

Alex Counts is President and CEO of Grameen Foundation.

 The visit to Adaline, the entering CLM client, was a reality check for all of us.  (Yeardley writes in a moving way about that visit elsewhere in the blog.)

We stood before a woman who was one of the poorest people in one of the poorest countries on earth.  Her almost total lack of possessions told most of the story, and her vacant look and inability to answer very basic questions about her plans for the future told the rest.  If I had not known of the successes of 96% of the first batch of CLM clients (some of whom I had met in March 2008, at which time they looked as hapless and hopeless as Adaline), I would have walked away depressed.  In fact, I feel compelled to return to this place and see what Adaline looks like 18 months from now.

05/24/2009 by

Day 3
Monday, May 18th, 2009
Mirebalais, Central Plateau, Haiti

Dear Zib,
In the midst of the wreckage of this country, I continue to meet the most inspiring, charismatic people on both sides of the micro-finance fence. It makes it impossible to stay mired in despair, despite the never-ending sprawl of abject poverty here. In fact, I feel quite hopeful. Because even though you could liken the day-to-day progress that GF and Fonkoze are making to emptying the proverbial well one teacup a time. The well still gets emptied that way.

05/24/2009 by

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SEfm7gW5ag] My report on our emotional visit with entering CLM clients will have to wait one more day.  Now, for a bit of the lighter side of visiting microfinance organizations and borrowers. 

During our first half-day in Haiti, my colleague Kate Druschel and I adopted the personas of worldly, well-travelled anti-poverty professionals when advising Yeardley – who was in deep learning mode.  At one point over lunch we said, “Yeardley, you should probably avoid eating these things, even though Kate and I will probably eat them since we have built up immunity over the years.”  It sounded slightly pompous to me when I said, it, although it was probably true. 

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