Want to make some extra cash while giving a boost to markets in the developing world? Shared Interest lends capital to fair trade buyer and producer organizations in areas of the world that have limited access to finance. Because they only invest in Fair Trade businesses, that means living wages, better working conditions, and often benefits for workers like health care and education for their children. For many of us in the West, starting a business without the help of a bank would be impossible. Those in the developing world face this challenge and more when beginning a new venture. Yet developing economies will never improve without the expansion of the free market; this can only happen through improving the environment in which business can operate and gain access to capital. This makes the work of companies like Shared Interest all the more crucial. Microfinance this is not; Shared Interest[…]Read More
Post Tagged with: "impact"
My latest video for Catholic Relief Services is the third of a trilogy showcasing the IMPACT program in Malawi. This piece, an excerpt from which is shown below, deals with community-based child protection programs. In Malawi, one out of three children has experienced abuse before they reach the age of 18. Malawi, in and of itself, is no more dangerous for children than other countries in the area. The problem has been that those working to protect children, from the next door neighbor in the rural village to the Malawi Social Welfare Department, have not been working in coordination with one another. Children have suffered as a result. In some instances cases of abuse have gone unreported, and perpetrators have gone unpunished. IMPACT has successfully connected the various stakeholders through the deployment of family care volunteers and the mobilization of an Orphans and Vulnerable Children Committee in each community where[…]Read More
The dawn of the new millennium cast a dark pall over the Southern African nation of Malawi. The county faced a food crisis that was, in part, fueled by the loss of agricultural workforce due to AIDS-related deaths. The national HIV prevalence rate was at 16%, and as high as 30% among pregnant women. With the coming of anti-retroviral medication (ARVs) in 2003, NGOs and systems of government rushed to educate HIV positive people, who had by now organized into peer support groups within their communities. Essential steps taken by these groups to living positively with the disease included good nutrition, practicing abstinence and safe sex, proper ARV adherence, as well as learning how to give home-based care to bed-ridden HIV positive peers in the community. Ten years later, support group members are not only some of the healthiest-looking people in their communities, they’re also talking to their negative or[…]Read More