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When it hurts too much to hope
Category: Microcredit | By CMC-2011, 3-Oct-2012 | Viewed 3028  Comments 0
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© Rotary International
Fabio Carballo, a constitutional lawyer from Costa Rica uses this phrase to describes the situation he uncovered while providing microcredit loans through a Rotary Foundation Grant several decades ago. He noted that mothers, before microcredit often rose marginally out of poverty only to fall back due to an illness or weather related disaster. The mothers lived and fed their families at a level of subsistence. This is the kind of poverty where you are able to eat today because you made money today - if that didn't happen you went hungry. With little ability to seek additional training or access to loans or savings or lacking the premiums for insurance they lived a dire existence. The phenomena that Fabio was describing was one of mothers refusing loans because with the loans came hope and for them and in their experience of life, it hurt too much to hope. Be sure and catch the rest of the story and others as relayed from Fabio's first-hand experience in the field.

John Hatch tells a humorous, if self-deprecating story about his so called "bourbon epiphany" about harnessing the power of Microcredit. More than 30 years ago, while flying high over the Peruvian Andes, John was struck by the thought that since the poor pay back small loans with astonishing regularity (they had few other options); the problem was aligning the needs of the poor with a suitable source of working capital. In putting together a plan based on what today sounds self-evident but was at the time revolutionary, John founded FINCA and set in motion a microcredit Operator that has grown to over one million borrowers - one of the largest in the world.

Dr Cecile del Castillo is the founder and chief executive officer of Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation. NWTF provides small loans and related financial services in the Philippines. When the sugar cane production industry pulled out of the Philippines in the mid 1980's Dr Cecile saw that small loans to the newly unemployed workforce of nearly one quarter of a million people would make a substantial difference. In 27 years that difference has extended to 120,000 borrowers and the program has expanded from loans to include savings, training and insurance products. NWTF is forward thinking. In one project they are piloting, Android phones with cameras plus doctors from Harvard University, using a MIT computer data-base bring medical care to the Philippines, where the poverty prevails at such levels that 60% of the population would never see a doctor. The progress, problems and outcomes of the pilot project will be addressed by Doc. Cecile. When you attend the Calgary Microcredit Conference there will be more than a dozen informative and entertaining presenters which in turn causes us to rate this conference among the best in our five year history. Please join us on 13 October 2012.
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