Thanks for visiting. I depart for Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry), India on December 15, to serve at a small NGO (nongovernmental organization) called Prime Trust for approximately five weeks. This small NGO is located on the coast of the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu. Prime Trust is dedicated to improving the lives of women and children through Self-Help Groups (SHGs) facilitated through microfinance tools. Programs including educational awareness campaigns aimed at women's rights, domestic violence education, HIV/AIDS awareness and health education motivate and assist the women in the community and surrounding area.

I hope to keep you posted of my experiences and share pictures with you of my journey. Feel free to post comments, suggestions, tips, your own experiences, good will wishes and prayers. Godspeed!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Microfinancing - It's a POSITIVE tool!

There's always the naysayers out there, but it helps to keep us honest in some respects.

Check out this article on microfinancing: http://www.devex.com/articles/the-maturation-of-microfinance

Here's a quote from the article:
"Tejany is particularly pleased with one recent statistic: the percentage of women in micro-borrower families that are involved in some sort of business has increased fivefold in the past two years.

'There's no doubt about it," he said. "The smaller loans are better.'

Reducing poverty is not only about money; it is also about, as Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen put it, "expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy." Social and political freedoms, certainly, but more importantly the things many in the developed world take for granted - public safety, basic education, public health and infrastructure. Dubbed 'microfinance plus,' these more holistic initiatives are making considerable headway with South Asia MFI's."