What Worked in Appalachian America
It would be a blessing on all the earth if we taught all our young people the skills for nurturing our earth, rather than fighting for territory and producing more impoverished children. These young people would make better people and better parents.
I am in Appalachia, writing about the ways of the economically disadvantaged in their early twentieth century society. Many of the ways that worked to build their economy and community may have application in other countries and communities. I am also looking for opportunities to take part in corporations that are part of the effort to empower women, their families and communities with micro-finance, as was done in the early days in this rural mountain community.
During the hard times of what is known in the United States of America as "The Great Depression" many men were enlisted into work camps to improve the environment of the country. This was a form of required national service that taught young men employment skills instead of war skills. They were sent away from their home areas and were paid only a portion of their wages. The remainder of their wages were sent home to support their families. They were not permitted wives or automobiles while serving in these camps. Many of the area women made families with these men who had learned, not only the ways of hard work, but also of discipline.
Women often had the opportunity to learn trades that they could produce at home, such as agriculture and textile finishing. Many of these women were parts of larger cooperatives, which were financed on a micro level. As the efforts to educate and empower women grow, I hope to find that neighbor-to-neighbor financing of efforts of excellence will be part of the equation.