The Puzzle of Poverty: Embera Puru Edition


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>>Authored by Kristin Smith, Program Intern for the 100 Million Project

jjjjJust a few weeks before joining the Microcredit Summit Campaign team, I traveled with Global Brigades to teach financial literacy workshops and provide microenterprise consulting to small business owners in an indigenous community in Panama.

The program, founded in 2003, sends university students from the United States and select European countries on a series of brigades to Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Ghana to “strengthen the health and economic development of communities” by meeting a certain aspect of their “holistic model.” Learn more.

Their holistic model attempts to assess and address the most dire needs of developing communities in an intentionally sequenced process to help them achieve a state of sustainable self-sufficiency.

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E-workshop Takeaways: “How to Build Savings Groups and Other Breakthroughs in Financial Inclusion”


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SfC Group in Mali_607x272

As part of their 2014 Campaign Commitment, Carsey School of Public Policy co-hosted a learning event on Thursday, December 11th with us to share the value of starting and scaling up savings groups. William Maddocks (Carsey School of Public Policy) facilitated an engaging discussion, featuring Jong-Hyon Shin (Fundación Capital in the Dominican Republic), and Jeffrey Ashe (The Carsey School of Public Policy).

Summary of the E-Workshop

The E-workshop focused on two main issues:

  1. A 2-hour training method to create new savings groups
  2. The link between savings groups and conditional cash transfers.

Jong-Hyon presented her own experience in the Dominican Republic, and Jeff talked about the takeaways from his research in West Africa.

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E-Workshop: How to Build Savings Groups and Other Breakthroughs in Financial Inclusion


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Join us Thursday, Dec. 11th at 10am (GMT-5) Continue reading

Kudos and Lessons from One Movement to Another, Part 2


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I want to encourage you [the Savings Group movement] to continue to experiment with ways that will allow Savings Groups to start and spread without external subsidy. If you can do that, then the growth of your movement will not be dependent on donors but will instead depend on your ability to communicate your message and get others to spread it for you. Continue reading

Kudos and Lessons from One Movement to Another, Part 1


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Setting ambitious targets is important for a global movement. It helps everyone who participates see how their work fits into a much bigger whole. While each individual person or institution may only be able to contribute a small portion of the whole, the sum of all these activities depicts an international force that makes it possible for us to believe that we will see the end of severe poverty in our lifetimes. Continue reading