Thoughts from One of our Departing Interns

My MCS Internship Experience:
An Exciting, Challenging and Rewarding Experience

I have done many internships, but my experience with MCS was a unique one. It was the most exciting, challenging and rewarding experience of my whole life. MCS never considered or treated me as a simple intern, but instead as a member of MCS. I was always invited to attend events at the World Bank, and also staff meetings where everybody has the equal opportunity to express themselves.

Before coming to MCS, I had heard about institutions giving micro loans to farmers in a Senegalese village. I also knew that those farmers were charged very high interest rates. Besides, those institutions were not providing the farmers with a key tool: EDUCATION. And that is the difference between those private institutions and MCS. For those who think that there is no way to help poor people, you need to have a look on what MCS has done so far! MCS promote microfinance organizations that give at low interest rates, and also provide other services such as health education, which not only benefit the person but their entire family. In fact, by reaching one member of a family, MCS is able to reach three or more people.
My best and most unforgettable moment in MCS is when I had the honor of meeting Ingrid Munro. For those of you who do not know her, she is a fantastic and generous person. She lives in Kenya where she helped prostitutes and (hold your breath…) thieves to start their own business and earn their money with more dignity. Can you believe that she has been granting loans to those people who are, most of the time, marginalized from the entire society?

There are few things that I have learnt from Ingrid that I would like to share with you. She said “it is easier to deal with the poverty in Africa than in America” considering the fact that everybody shares the same burden in Africa, it is not a shame to be poor whereas in America, we live in a society whereby “everybody has to make it” so people tend to be more depressed. She also said that there is not a valid reason to ignore poor people in America! Sometimes we have the desire to help people but since we are doing it the wrong way, we are not really helping them. Buying clothes or food for two or more families is not helping them in the long term. In order to help them, you have to make sure they want to help themselves first. If that is the case, give them tools such as microloans, ideas, and confidence so that they can start something by themselves.

By working with MCS, I think I became more humble and more willing to help poor people. I have learnt a lot about the microfinance sector and its positive impacts if it is applied correctly.

I would like to thanks the entire MCS’ members who contributed to what I have learnt and experience in this wonderful and dynamic organization.

-Fatou Guirassy