Friday, October 16, 2009

Let's Send Poverty to Museums

Make people believe that
we can send poverty to museums.
When I talk to people about it,
they laugh and say it's impossible.

But when you don't believe something,
you can't achieve it.
You have to imagine and make
that imagination achievable.

~Muhammad Yunus

Of Note: Most folks had never heard of Muhammad Yunus before he won the Nobel Peace Prize a few years back. His contribution to the world was a belief in a poverty-free society and his translation of this belief into action through the creation of a micro-credit bank. Micro-credit provides small loans to the poor, sometimes as little as $50, to start a business or other enterprise. Yunus opened the first Grameen Bank in his home country of Bangladesh. From these humble beginnings, the bank now has a staff of 28,000, 8 million borrowers and 2,600 branches, including a program in New York City. The new ability to borrow has particularly impacted disadvantaged women around the world. Amazingly, $100 million flows through monthly and any dividends are returned to the borrowers who own the bank. When asked in TIME magazine this week if microloans have been hard hit by the recession, Yunus replied: "We use very local money that is going to the local poor, so there is no way the hit taken by the financial centers of the world could be transmitted to us. We are OK."

Today's Weather Report: Partly sunny and cool--what you could call a typical October day. Yesterday it rained a wee bit, but not enough to put a dent in the lake level, which has not moved all summer. Only a few places in the United States are on the official government drought map but northern Wisconsin is one of them. Fisherman used to be able to fish from the pier and catch all they wanted in about 15 minutes. Now any fishing experience on this lake takes a boat because the water has all but disappeared from under the pier.

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