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Part of the unfinished vision of microfinance is to alter the minds of the powerful about the powerless…

Senator Hillary Clinton.

Microcredit: A Global Miracle for Women

Women as agents of change have led to the feminization of antipoverty program worldwide. Women, specifically, through a funding mechanism called microcredit, are now being targeted as the most important ingredient in the fight to relieve, even eliminate, poverty and it’s accompanying ills of poor health, overpopulation and starvation.

Microcredit programs extend very small loans to poor people, primarily women, for self-employment projects that generate income, allowing them to care for themselves and their families. This, thanks to the pioneering efforts of economist Dr. Muhhammed Yunus of Bangladesh who started the now famous Grameen Bank in 1974 with a $75 dollar
loan to one woman. This small amount—the cost of two concert tickets—can make the entire difference between absolute poverty and a thriving little business generating enough income to fee the family, send kids to school and build decent housing.

Why women?

Traditionally women are the family caretakers in the third world and are more likely than the men in the family to use their increased disposable incomes from their micro-business to improve family nutrition, purchase needed medicines, make home improvements and send their children to school.

–Judith Haden, grant application

In 2003, El Circulo de Mujers, AC loaned the women of the Mixteca $5000 for a rotating fund. With the fund they bought weavings from the weavers, and the money was returned to the fund by the Circulo when the weavings are sold. This plus workshops in marketing, finance, weaving, organization, shipping, organic colors, raw products, and opthomology has produced a thriving business in the village of Miramar in the Mixteca. The project has been running for 4 years now and by January of 2007 the women had fully paid off the loan and were financially independent.




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