Will Marre is the co-founder and former president of the Covey Leadership Center (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People), CEO of the REALeadership Alliance, and the author of “Save the World and Still Be Home for Dinner” (Capital Books, 2009). The following is from a Tuesday, Oct 27 entry on his blog, Thought Rocket.
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.
Today, Grameen Foundation is launching the Ingenuity Fund, our new fundraising effort that aims to create a village – or grameen – of online advocates and funders.
You can support the launch of the Ingenuity Fund by participating in our first initiative, “$27 on the 27th.” In 1976, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus planted the seed that created Grameen Bank by making a loan of $27 to a group of 42 Bangladeshi stool makers out of his own pocket. Professor Yunus’ simple, yet ingenious action has revolutionized the way in which we combat poverty around the world and offers inspiration to people looking to make an impact with their charitable donation.
Here is how you can join us in our “$27 on the 27th” initiative:
Your daily dose of lattes. Dinner out with friends. Cab fare.
The money you spend on items like these in one week could help us impact the lives of poor people around the world. So what would you give up for one week to help end poverty? How much money would that raise for poor families? Tell us below and then send us a Tweet or Facebook message.
Alex Counts is President and CEO of Grameen Foundation.
[caption id="attachment_250" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Cashpor client receives her loan"][/caption]
Recent articles in the Wall Street Journal about the activities of Indian microfinance institutions (MFIs) and the role global investors are playing in the sector’s development have sparked intense debate about microfinance losing its way. While the articles do highlight a few real challenges facing clients and MFIs in some isolated cases, we believe they contain significant errors, omissions and distortions. Two leading microfinance practitioners, Vikram Akula of SKS and Samit Ghosh of Ujjivan, have critiqued the articles and we encourage people to read what they have written.
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"][/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.