May 29, 2009
I live and work on the lake shore of one of the world's most beautiful and magical lakes: Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. I currently work for a US non-profit, Microcredit Plus organization; not only do we give small loans to poor women for their businesses but also provide a non-formal education program to support them, their business, and most importantly of all, their children and their future. I believe that a very important key to eradicating poverty is through empowerment, and empowerment is gained through self-esteem and self-worth. I believe both of these can be gained by women by giving them a small hand up through a small business loan and additional education support.
Guatemala, like so many other developing countries, has horrendous poverty, hindered by a corrupt government and a history of oppression against the mostly indigenous population. A top down policy simply does not work, grassroots organization and ngos are the only true way to get to the heart of the problem and help solve it.
I would love to hear other women's experiences working with women in grassroots organizations; the positive and negative, highs and lows, and how we can improve our services and impact, and share our experiences on a global level.