Microfinance serves many purposes. Most notably, we have seen its positive effects on expanding the economic situations of the world’s poorest. But, what if it could also create world peace?
A group of four students — two Jewish and two Palestinian — have united at Penn State University. In February, they launched a not-for-profit internet platform LendforPeace.org. The website allows individuals to make small loans to specific micro-entrepreneurs in the West Bank, which in turn will allow the “Palestinian micro-entrepreneurs to lift themselves out of poverty by building sustainable businesses”. LendforPeace.org has considerable backing, recently being featured on Fox News and receiving grants from the likes of the Clinton Global Initiative. The founders have also formalized relations with Middle Eastern microfinance institutions, as well as with USAID, the US Government’s humanitarian assistance agency.
These students are answering President Obama’s call to action, for people of all nationalities to “turn dialogue into interfaith service so bridges between peoples lead to action.” We wish them all the luck.
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And visit the Lend for Peace website here