I’m very excited to have a microfinance organization on our list. Microfinance provides a very important service for the extreme poor, because traditional financial institutions (aka, banks and other lenders) can’t make enough money from the very small deposits and loans to justify their time and effort. Yet, having access to these services is critical for people to weather life’s unexpected occurances and to grow their businesses.
Microfinance has been both held up as the cure for extreme poverty and as a dangerous practice that takes advantage of people. Microfinance has the ability to be both, and I recently wrote a Microfinance Guide that covers what microfinance is good for, what’s it’s not good for, and what to look for when making microfinance loans. That way we can do good while avoiding the harm!
FINCA began in 1984 and now serves over 900,000 clients in 21 countries. In addition to loans and savings accounts, they also provide life insurance and education services. FINCA has more than $320 million in outstanding loans and is on pace to disburse as much as $800 million in loans by year end. The vast majority of their clients are women and they even have programs to help young girls who are still far more likely than boys not to attend school. I’m looking forward to getting an in-depth look at FINCA during the review and then sharing that information with you.
Over 600 million school-age children are infected with parasitic worms. Parasitic worm infections can cause immediate illnesses, but as the worms accumulate and grow they steal more and nutrients from their hosts causing long-term illnesses and fatigue, too. Children with parasitic infections are much less likely at attend school and to do well in school. And since there is a direct relationship between a child’s education and their future income, keeping cildren in school helps break the cycle of poverty.
According to Deworm The World,”school-based deworming is universally recognized as a safe, simple and cost-effective solution. The benefits of school-based deworming are both immediate and enduring. Regular treatment can reduce school absenteeism by 25% and increase adult earnings by over 20%, and at a cost of less than 50 US cents per child per year.”
These organizations are researched and vetted by the donations committee so that we can be confident we are sending our large group donation to an organization that is going to make the biggest impact on ending poverty.
Anyone who is a member by March 29th can vote with us. Are you ready to make low dollar, high impact donations? Are you ready to be the change?