Monday, February 22, 2010

Haiti womens micro-lending bank - spread the word!

This is the type of thing that too few of us know about because too few of our media outlets pay attention to truly supportive and community based projects.

Please take a moment to learn about how a network of women in Haiti have been able to mobilize quickly to distribute funds to get the economy moving again.

A branch of the Grameen bank of Bangladesh (specializing in micro-lending), Fonkoze, was able to work with high level officials within 24 hrs to get money to people in need.

Most essentially, read this and pass it along so that we can spread the word about some really important avenues for reducing dependence on commercial banking (which cannot easily respond in crisis).

Even the U.S. State Department understands how important this is --- saying that this alternative operation "may well have stabilized the banking system for the country's most vulnerable population."

Haiti womens micro-lending bank brings cash to the rescue

Understandably this was not the lead story during the first two days of the crisis. But, I would love to see us challenge more of the mainstream media to shine some light on these smaller, unconventional approaches to banking that really work to support people in challenging circumstances.

Yes, it would mean accepting that not all great ideas come from the U.S., and it would also mean accepting that the most powerful (by which I mean essentially contributing to society's well being) and important operations are NOT run by U.S. non-profits and/or government aid entities. Self-determination and grassroots organizing in action would need to be valued.

But, wouldn't this be a much better use of time than talking ad nauseum about fears of violence from those in desperate circumstances? The stench of racism in that conversation is so strong that it diverts attention from the remarkable work being done by many within third world countries today. Truly, this type of micro-lending is something that we could use more of here in the U.S. too. Read and feed your imagination. Then, pass it on to someone else.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Shelly,
    Hello, there, Shelly! I so enjoyed reading about these remarkable, courageous, and women full of the most complete and utmost faith! Thank-you so much for sharing on these great Haitian women. What they have done as they have lived upon faith and their hope, and worked together as community to help themselves in Fonkose shows their great spirit and their genius in putting this altogether for themselves! Shelly, I know what you mean about how the U.S. often centers itself as the main link in rescuing people elsewhere, and how our media often ignores and neglects important local stories in these countries where people are grabbing a hold of their own power, ideas, and resources. Shelly, I appreciate so, so much how you have shared on this great story! These brave and brilliant women have made themselves feel safer in this tragedy in Haiti by grabbing faith and hope in their optimism that they can control their fate, and make changes for themselves and their families for the better! I am very impressed by the brave and brilliant women! I will for sure continue to pass along this blog entry, as well as everything else I send along that you so wisely blog about and in such an excellent and caring manner, Shelly!

    I will for always continue to be so impressed and blessed by your superb outreach as you help and work with your Radical White Community in finding and developing your Radical White Identity in such a great and caring way, and by how you reach out in a caring and sensitive manner to all people of color as you diligently work toward dismantling racism and racist inequities, and to challenge white privilege, Shelly! I appreciate so, so much as the black/African-American woman I am all the great and efficient work you and our other white antiracists do in such a progressive manner in order to make our country and world a better place. I thank-you so dearly and so kindly for all of your hard work, and how you are so dedicated, Shelly! You are making such a difference for the good, and you and our other white antiracists have given me an increased hope, faith, and optimism! Blessings so,so much to you for always, Shelly!

    Sincerely always,

    Sherry Gordon