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Sell stocks, Buy shoes

Just returned from a quick trip to NYC, and what a week! The sign for Lehman Bro. was replaced overnight by a new Barclays Capital sign. The giant billboard for WaMu came down. And, strolling down 5th Ave, we saw a store selling Steve Madden shoes with its sign saying "Sell stocks, Buy shoes!"

We also visited Pro Mujer's offices on the lower east side and ate Thai food. We're planning a pre-Thanksgiving trip to Mexico to celebrate the launch of three new communal banks in Texcoco, a city located 30 miles east of Mexico City. The Rotary Club of Cupertino started this project with a challenge grant of $5K, and we successfully raised $5-6K from individual donors. Then, we wrote for another communal banking matching grant from The Rotary Foundation for $5K, so in total we now have $15K... magic! We expect this small project will impact 60+ women and their families, by helping them start or expand micro businesses with micro-credit loans of about $200 each.

See www.promujer.org for more info.

Comments

Welcome to PulseWire! And, congratulations on your new communal banks. The timing could probably not be more impeccable. I would love to know more about you and how you got involved in this project. Are you a member of rotary or do you work for Pro Mujer? How did you find PulseWire?

I know our community would love to follow your trip to Texoco over Thanksgiving. Sharing solutions, like how to start a communal bank, is one of the primary reasons PulseWire was built. Would you be willing to write about your experience while you are in Mexico?

All my best,
Jennifer

cruiser's picture

This is not your grandfather's club!

Jennifer,

I met Jensine at a WAM NorCal meeting (Women Advancing Microfinance Northern California) at the home of Dana Whitaker in Berkeley, CA. I thought she was doing wonderful and important work with PulseWire, and was so impressed and inspired by her vision, her sincerity and fresh voice.

I got involved with Pro Mujer thru a girlfriend, Jenice Delano, who lives in the Hamptons. I was interested in microfinance and Jenice had tickets to a Pro Mujer gala in NYC and invited me to attend. "Girls weekend!" so I said "Yes! ". Then later, we traveled to Peru with the BOD of Pro Mujer and saw microfinance working in the field, visited communal banks and met women clients at their businesses and in their homes. We liked the numbers and the
sustainability of the microfinance model used by Pro Mujer and the stories
behind the numbers were truly touching.

Lynne Patterson, the co-founder of Pro Mujer, visited California and I hosted her at my home and arranged a speaking opportunity for her with women in Management at Stanford's Graduate Business School. I'm an MBA Class of 1979.

The cocktail party at my home was tapa's and spanish wine tasting, and after a lot of wine, the rotary folks at the party said they would like to do a project with Pro Mujer in Mexico, that also celebrated 20 years of Women in Rotary.

That brings us to today. I am also a member of the Rotary Club of Cupertino,
California, which is not your grandfather's club! This is a very active club, many women, and lots of diversity. We got a grant and raised the money for 3 new communal banks in Texcoco, Mexico. Now, we are going to visit Mexico the week before Thanksgiving. Whew -- that was a longer story than you probably expected!

I'll ask Pro Mujer Mexico if they would be willing to "blog" and share the
story during our visit. I think it would be interesting if we had more women
adding to the blog.

Best, Melonie

Is a World Pulse women through and through! I eagerly await an invitation to join you on your next adventure (he he)... Peru and Mexico have been recent excursions for my family, too! I loved Peru. I didn't get to see as much of Mexico because we were at the 2008 AIDS Conference.(you can read about it here" http://beta.pulsewire.net/node/2769)

I hope Pro Mujer does join us! We have over 100 people, many of them Spanish speaking, in the Women's Networking Zone group: http://beta.pulsewire.net/groups/598
We also just had a fantastic organization join us, Adelante Chicas:
http://beta.pulsewire.net/user/655
And if that is not enough, we have the former president of Rotary Phillipinnes! http://beta.pulsewire.net/user/605

If you would like me to extend an invitation to Pro Mujer, let me know. Can you imagine if we bring some of the women in the field from Peru to PulseWire to tell their stories?

Ole!

osoinciong's picture

Meeting a fellow Rotarian

Dear Jennifer and Melonie,

Thanks for sharing with me your email exchanges.

Jenny, thanks for mentioning to Melonie about my being a Rotarian.

Melonie, happy to know that there is another Rotarian in Pulse Wire.

Just to clarify, I was not a president of Rotary Philippines. I was president of our club, the Rotary Club of West Bay which is under Rotary International District 3820, one of the 10 districts in the Philippines.

We are now doing a community project which to many Rotarians in developed countries, may sound very simple. It is a "slippers project". We are raising money to buy rubber slippers to be distributed to poor school children whose parents cannot even afford to buy them a pair of shoes. Thus, most of these kids go to school wearing slippers. Others are even barefoot!

Other people prefer to give us the slippers so we are thankful for this. In case you wish to know more about our slippers project, please email me directly.

A pair of slippers costs 20 pesos (as of today, the exchange rate per 1 US dolar to a peso is 48). Thus, a pair of rubber slippers is only half a dollar!

We are giving out the first batch of slippers this Thursday, 23 October to 168 Grade 1 pupils of a government elementary school.

Cheers.
Sylvia

cruiser's picture

Rotary GSE Philippines 2009

FYI, the Rotary Group Study Exchange (GSE) team leader for our district is Sheila Barry, who will be visiting the Philippines in 2009. Hope you get a chance to meet her!

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