December 9, 2011
Samuel, our Loan Administrator, and I attended an MFI (Micro Finance) conference this past weekend in Kofuridua, Ghana (about 2 hours ride from Medie).
We were asked to present Joy2theWorld – which we love to do! Samuel created a PowerPoint and we practiced our presentation.
The primary difference between Joy2theWorld and MFIs is that we are non-profit. Our program is more holistic in that we provide micro loans but we are also concerned and involved in the quality of life here. We drilled for water (providing fresh water for over 600 families), we provide scholarships for children to attend public school and we distribute water buckets with spigots for families to have water in their homes. We also have provided malaria nets and breast exams for our women.
MFIs provide micro loans as well as larger loans, for profit; nothing wrong with that… we’re just different.
The conference included a lot of discussions about the poverty rate in Ghana (>60%) and politics and the failure of the various political movements that only seem to perpetuate poverty. The discussions were heated to say the least as we had Government officials there, bankers and other Micro Finance representatives.
Samuel and I went to the front of the room and together we presented Joy2theWorld.
When we were done, half of the room – grown men and women – were in tears! Really!
We were reminding everyone what we are really all about. Ending poverty. Empowering women.
What we do here DOES make a huge difference in the lives of women and their families.
We are fighting the war on poverty, one family at a time. And it shows. It’s the difference between being on the battlefield in the war on poverty and sitting in a classroom talking about ending the war on poverty.
I have always been about empowering women. That is what brought me to Ghana. But Saturday I realized, to the core, that we are in a battle to end poverty. It was my Aha! Moment.
For those of you who donate and make this work possible, I hope you get that you are on the battlefield with us! Without you, we can’t be here. Thank you.