Village
Banking

My old buddy, musician friend, and designer of my website, has gotten involved in this project.  Village Banking offers micro-loans to people in 20 countries on five continents - programs in 8 Latin American countries including Central America, Mexico, South America (Mexico, El Salvador, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala and Haiti); programs in 5 African countries (Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa and Malawi); and programs in the 7 countries/areas of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the former Soviet Union (Kosovo, Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and the two Russian oblasts (provinces) of Samara and Tomsk).

In some of the poorest countries in the world, FINCA is offering small loans to women and the miracle begins: women quickly increase their cash flow so that they can feed, clothe and educate their children.  Even a small loan ($50-150) helps a woman move from hand-to-mouth subsistence, to running a small business.  Micro-financing has been found to be the most effective way to permanently bring families out of poverty, through their own efforts, not hand-outs.

The return rate on these loans is 97%!  From there, the money (plus the interest) goes to finance other micro-loans.  This is a program that really works: it doesn't just treat the symptom of poverty, it actually changes the underlying problem of poverty, by empowering people and giving them back their self-esteem through self-help. I encourage you to check out their website at www.VillageBanking.org  
 

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