Hey poverty fighters,
Here's what we talked about today, and information about what we'll be doing in the future!
There will Free Chairs given out next meeting (including Outreach, Meeting Facilitation, Research, Publicity, Women's Issues, and Communications).
We learned from Megan, the VP of SHH, that Siete de Abril is 15 minutes away from the nearest big city (and market), El Progreso. This limits the options for microfinance projects. SHH also has an entire class at UMW led by a Professor of Economics who specializes in microfinance, and the class is about how to set up a microfinance institution in a setting like Siete de Abril. So they have their microfinance research pretty well-covered. Currently, they are looking at either busing the villagers to the nearest market, or setting up a cooperative similar to the way Impact and Hatemalo are partnered.
In light of this, we decided that we should broaden our research to include other methods of poverty alleviation that can work in the absence of nearby markets. Clare suggested a "village or village leader loan" that can be used to decrease the cost of purchasing transportation.
There is a program called "Hadetha" started by a W&M alum where organizations can adopt a businesswoman in Iraq. Katie is on this and will contact the head about taking part in this next year. We will also look into Avalon and the way they help women in need.
On Poverty and the Environment, it is such a complex issue, and is better known as "Sustainable Development" (thanks Clare). Case studies in particular include the Three Gorges Dam and slash-and-burn agriculture in general. We will post many resources on our website, www.wm.edu/so/impacthumanity/ , for those interested in pursuing this issue further.
See you next week!