A couple of interesting links illustrating alternative ways to address poverty and development issues:
– Kiva. Kiva “lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on our website and then lending money online to that enterprise, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive monthly email updates that let you know about the progress being made by the small business you’ve sponsored. These updates include reports on loan repayment progress, photos of new capital equipment, narratives on business growth and standard of living improvements, and more. As loans are repaid, you will get your original loan money back.” I wonder if this idea can be pitched to folks in the diaspora who want to give back/assist (Hat tip Paul!)
– Technoserve: Business solutions to rural poverty
– Acumen Fund: Acumen Fund operates like a venture capital firm for the poor, providing resources, both financial â€“ in the form of loans, equity investments and occasional grants â€“ and intellectual capital
– Barefoot College: The Barefoot College began in 1972 with the conviction that solutions to rural problems lie within the community.The College addresses problems of drinking water, girl education, health & sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity and power, as well as social awareness and the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities. The College benefits the poorest of the poor who have no alternatives. The College encourages practical knowledge and skills rather than paper qualifications through a learning by doing process of education.