Camfed, Muhammad Yunus, The Grameen Bank, Micro-financing, KIVA, and Darko the Chicken Farmer


My goal with this Unit on Micro-financing and your initial study on the Woman’s Crusade and Africa’s Girl Power is to awaken you to plight of poverty in the developing world and the key to fixing it.  The empowerment of women and the availablity of micro credit are two powerful weapons in that battle.  While I do not expect for all of you to jump in and donate to Camfed or KIVA today, my hope is that you stash a seed inside your brain that grows with time.  Maybe you’ll get involved and donate later as an adult.  Or, you might someday down the road enlighten your own children to the challenges of third world development.  Some of you will find access to organizations while you are away at college.  And maybe, just maybe, this study will lead on a journey to a village somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa or Asia or Latin America, where people need first world support and appreciate what young Americans can bring to their table.

For our second assignment – in 2006 Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist, won the Nobel Peace Prize for an organization that he created thirty years earlier. This organization, The Grameen Bank, pioneered the practice of providing tiny loans to millions of poor people that no commercial bank would touch – destitute widows and abandoned wives, landless laborers and rickshaw drivers, sweepers and beggars, and in doing so it revolutionized the fight to overcome third world poverty.  Over the years similar organizations, have built upon Dr. Yunus initiative, and expanded micro financing around the globe.  We will look closely in this series of assignments at some of these people and organizations.

First let us look at the Grameen Bank.  I’ve provided you three links that will introduce you to the bank and the man who created it.  The New York Times and Baltimore Sun each covered his selection for the Nobel in 2006.  I’ve  also linked you to the video Pennies a Day, that we watched on Muhammed and some recipients of micro credit through Grameen; it is a concise and personal look at the power of micro financing.

Next, we’ll learn about a Chicken Farmer from Ghana who rose from poverty in part through the access of micro loans and continues today to help others to do the same.  Finally, we will finish with a video on “Micro financing 101”  by  Unknown-1Organization International and KIVA, a San Francisco based micro credit non profit business, that allows you to directly lend to those in the third world and fully realize the power of micro-lending.

Keep your eyes and your hearts open.  Stay Awake!  Get involved and make the world a better place.

If you dig into this stuff and do it with shirt sleeves rolled up and with an open mind – you will learn so much about the world.  So, let’s get moving…

  • Africa’s Girl Power & Camfed – due Thursday 1/15 
  • Go here to find the website “Camfed.”
  • Girl Effect video – very very cool.
  • Go here to find  “Africa’s Girl Power” – New York Times (3/7/12).
  • Go here to access questions that accompany the above article.
  • The Grameen Bank – due Monday 1/19 
  • Grameen Assignment – Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank
  • Please go here to access movie Pennies A Day.
  • New York Times – “Peace Prize to Pioneer of the Poor…”
  • Baltimore Sun – “Early on it wasn’t clear how big this was…”
  • Darko the Chicken Farmer – due Tuesday 1/20
  • Darko Assignment– Darko the Chicken Farmer.
  • Please go here to access the movie The Life Story of Kojo of One Hen
  • Please go here to access one hen – micro financing for kids.
  • Please go here to access NPR podcast on Darko from Ghana.
  • Micro Financing Institutions Worldwide – due day of exam
  • Opportunity International – go here for Microfinancing 101.
  • Please go here for worksheet with above video.
  • Please go here to access KIVA – Micro lender to the World.
  • Please go here for Frontline Video on KIVA.
  • Youtube connection to the KIVA video can be found here.
  • My Support / and Gratitude…
  • I promise that if any of you would like to become active in either KIVA or Camfed I will supplement your donation.  I will pay 20% of your initial financial investment to either organization.  You may donate as a couple or an individual.  Since it is difficult to enroll or donate to such organizations without a credit card – if you choose to donate, give me $20 I will add $5 of my own, and use my VISA card and sign you up (in your name) with a $25 donation.  $25 is usually the minimum in such endeavors.



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