empowHer: Hope Through Empowerment

Nigeria is often a country that creates news because of its vast oil fields.  There have been countless negative effects from being one of the world’s largest oil producers.  Few Nigerians actually reap the benefits from being such an oil rich country while limitless violence and corruption haunts the Niger delta.

Last year I met Brittany Atchison in Rwanda.  After our human rights delegation in Kigali, she was going to Nigeria for nine months. I knew that she was going to learn and gain immeasurable life experiences but I didn’t know what a powerful impact she would have on the north-eastern community of Jalingo.

Brittany and her Nigerian counterparts, Hannatu Robinson and Yusuf Jatutu, with the assistance of a 20 year partnership between the Iowa United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Church of Nigeria, started EmpowHER – a microfinance initiative that supports women to start their own businesses.

A little hope Read more…

ANED: The Ecumenical National Association of Desarrollo

Here are the facts:

Bolivia is the poorest country in South America.
More than 36% of the population lives below the national poverty line.
More than 21% live below 2 dollars a day.
At least 60% of the working age populations work in the informal economy.

These statistics are harrowing. These statistics are unsettling. These statistics are true.

One of the most successful ways that Bolivians are fighting poverty is through micro-finance. The United Nations defines microfinance as “the provision of small-scale financial services such as savings, credit and other basic financial services to poor and low-income people. The term “microfinance institution” now refers to a wide range of organizations dedicated to providing these services and includes non-governmental organizations, credit unions, co-operatives, private commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions and parts of state-owned banks.” Micro-finance organizations are inherently charitable and have proven themselves the world over as successful tools for development.

The aim of microfinance is to provide Read more…