Nobel winner’s idea is money in the bank
Re “Peace Prize Winner Sees Every Cent as a Seed,” Oct. 14
Over the past few months, The Times has published a number of articles about microcredit and its benefits to the poor. I particularly enjoyed the article about Muhammad Yunus, who pioneered the concept of microcredit, winning the Nobel Peace Prize. However, the stories failed to mention how regular people of modest means can join Yunus in his fight against poverty. The information can be found by anyone interested in joining the fight against poverty at smallfortunes.com. Eliminating poverty takes the efforts of everyone who lives comfortably (which is most Americans), not just the super-wealthy. Yunus is a prime example of what common people can accomplish.
I met Yunus 20 years ago when the Grameen Bank was in its infancy. Providing loans to destitute women in an Islamic country was dismissed by many as the notion of a starry-eyed dreamer. Today, Grameen has made loans averaging about $100 to more than 6 million poor borrowers, with a repayment rate of 98%. Loan recipients are much more likely to educate their children and are lifting their families out of extreme poverty. The Grameen model has spread across the developing world with similar success. The goal of microcredit advocates is to reach 100 million of the poorest families worldwide and alleviate the worst aspects of poverty, one village at a time. The smart money is on those starry-eyed dreamers.