Posts Tagged ‘rural poverty’

Time to take the fish to market.

Microfinance depends vitally on a modern cultural value that drives the global economy: the time-value of money. Microfinance practices work where this value is already well developed. The poorest parts of the world, almost by definition, are those where this value is not well understood.

Take Lawino for example: (more…)


Read Full Post »

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I, I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost

Some three decades ago the experts announced that only one source of funds could deliver microfinance services sustainably to billions of the world’s poorest people. That source was Western capital markets and the profit-maximizing investors participating in them.

When F.W. Raiffeisen launched the first microfinance revolution (1864-1945) he used a different source of funds: (more…)

Read Full Post »

Quietly watching us.

Imagine if, each morning as you pulled out of your driveway, you were touched by the gaze of the same child, watching you from the sidewalk. Her gaze is as open and undemanding as the earth, and as curious and deeply conscious as any you’ve received from your own children. She is also visibly poverty-stricken.

I took this photo while visiting a small village bank in Cambodia. Whenever foreigners enter a village there, curious children gather to watch. These two stood quietly on the fringe of my meetings with the village adults for over an hour. (more…)

Read Full Post »