Celebrate April, the Month of Microfinance

Microfinance has a strong following. And, yet, recent discourse has posed serious and earnest questions about the impact of microfinance despite anecdotal success stories of how microfinance programs have empowered individuals and helped them markedly improve their lives.Microfinance academics and practitioners constantly seek to expand knowledge about the interventions and programs that best provide poor and low-income individuals with financial services and training. Other questions try to get at the overarching purpose of microfinance. Should microfinance be driven by a social mission or by profits and sustainability? Is microfinance an industry or a movement? Month of Microfinance (MoMF) may have some thoughts and insights to offer.

The 2012 Month of Microfinance (MoMF) is a coalition of student-led and student-focused organizationsdedicated to microfinance. It is an academic movement and it seeks to generate critical conversations and awareness of microfinance practices. The three critical objectives are:

  1. To provide educational opportunities for students and their communities and prepare students to become the next generation of microfinance practitioners.
  2. To raise awareness and funds for domestic and global microfinance.
  3. To unite the student microfinance movement in a coordinated and shared event.

The Microcredit Summit Campaign supports the Month of Microfinance movement and the students, professors, and institutions involved in their effort to raise awareness about microfinance. We share their desire to create a dialog with the public, to listen and explore, to question and challenge, to evaluate and critique current practices in Microfinance.

During the month of April, students at participating college, university, and high school campuses will host and participate in campus events related to microfinance. The MoMF will connect concepts from the professional world with those in the academic world through student-led events. These events will include,

  • Hosting professional guest speakers
  • Showing microfinance documentaries
  • Fundraising for microfinance institutions
  • Hosting microfinance discussion groups
  • Writing letters to local community newspapers
  • Making information about microfinance available to other students

Each student-hosted event will focus on the definition of microfinance, the groups that benefit from it, and the relationship between client-centered and profit driven microfinance.

Microcredit Summit Campaign Events

The Campaign is proud to join ACCION USA, Opportunity International, MFTransparency, and Freedom from Hunger, among other leaders in the microfinance industry, in this exciting opportunity to be part of an initiative to educate young America about microfinance and to support their engagement in advocacy for microfinance within their communities.

The Campaign will be participating in two events in the DC area:

  • On April 6, Anna Awimbo from the Microcredit Summit Campaign, will be participating in the panel discussion “More than Just Credit: A Panel discussion on the other aspects of Microfinance”, organized by the Organization for International Development. She will be speaking about how the campaign is partnering with Freedom from Hunger to reach microfinance clients in India with health education and services.
  • On April 12, Sam Daley-Harris, founder and former director of the Campaign and current founder and CEO of the Center for Citizen Engagement and Transformation, will deliver a lecture titled “Purpose, Poverty, Pitfalls, and Redemption” at the University of Mary Washington.

In addition, the Campaign and CGAP are hosting a 3-day virtual conference (hosted on the CGAP website) titled “Extending the Conversation on Reaching the Poorest: Another look at the 2011 Global Microcredit Summit.” Three 2-hour sessions (May 2-4, 8:30-10:30 AM EDT/GMT-4) will be facilitated by Aude de Montesquiou (CGAP), Janet Heisey (Trickle Up), Fonkoze’s Carine Roenen and Steve Werlin, and Bill Maddocks (UNH Carsey Institute). More than reviewing the discussions held at the Summit, these sessions will look for new extensions and concepts building in new directions from the workshops held last November in Valladolid, Spain. To learn more about this event, click here.

Please visit the Month of Microfinance website for details about events organized nationwide and how you can host awareness raising and fundraising activities in partnership with MoMF.

One thought on “Celebrate April, the Month of Microfinance

  1. To Catch a Dollar, the documentary about Grameen America, is being screened on the American University (AU) campus tomorrow night at 7 pm in the bottom floor of the Ward building (the building located right on Ward Circle). It’s open to the public and free–but they will be accepting donations to their charity, Scholarships for Burma.If you haven’t seen it, watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6xBRScp4j8

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