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Unitus Microcredit Loans

Lessons, impressions, and thoughts that I have about the powerful poverty-fighting tool of Microcredit and how Unitus is accelerating the growth of Microfinance around the globe.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Small Fortunes - Microcredit and the Future of Poverty

On October 27, 2005 at 10pm EST, there is a nationwide PBS premier of Small Fortunes: Microcredit and the Future of Poverty. Small Fortunes is a one-hour documentary describing microfinance's impact on global poverty.

It is a beautiful documentary. The film crew was in India filming when I made my trip there with Unitus and they caught the incredible feel of the villages and even more important, caught the dignity and the intelligence of the borrowers.

I was really moved by the documentary when I saw the preview earlier this year. I loved the narrator's voice and the stories of the borrowers. I thought they did a good job of explaining the basics of Microcredit and had interviews with most of the pioneers of Microcredit, including Mohammed Yunus of Grameen, John Hatch of Finca, Maria Otero of Accion, and several other leaders in the field.

I thought the cinemotography was gorgeous. I wouldn't be surprised if it got some award.

Mike Murray, the Chairman of the Board of Unitus, as well as Geoff Davis, the President of Unitus are both interviewed.

Since it was produced by BYU-TV, they showed it locally here on the local BYU PBS station last week. My friend Carol watched it and this is what she said in an email to me:

"Tim, I was incredibly touched as I watched the program last night. Sterling Van Wagenen is a family friend and also produced the “Faith of an Observer” documentary about Hugh Nibley in 1983.

I woke up this morning wondering how I can help."

I am not sure the best way to answer Carol. The easiest way to help is with money. Microcredit needs access to money so they can make loans to the poor. The average loan is between $50-$100, so a donation of $2500 can usually fund loans for close to 50 borrowers. That still amazes me - $2500 can can the lives of 50 people. And when you think that there might be close to 5 people in a family of each borrower, the reach of that $2,500 could be as high as 250 people.

I know Unitus is interested in those that can make sizeable contributions, but they also welcome those that can make a donation of $2500 per year. If you want to make a donation to help the poor, click here.

I will think about other ways that Carol, on a limited budget, might be able to help and post some of those ideas later.

I hope you will take the chance to watch or Tivo "Small Fortunes". I think it could change your life.


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